To begin with, you must make sure clear lines of communication have been established with you physician(s) and any other health care providers being seen for chronic back pain. Do not just assume it is your cross to bear and suffer in silence. Though it is true that the majority of back pain in general is not symptomatic of serious illness, do not assume you are therefore free from all risk.
There have been cases of people whose backs hurt persistently and they just mistook it for a fact of life and went on the best they could, only to discover that their bad back was really a sign of something much worse, like cancer or otherwise damaged internal organs.
In order to facilitate communication to a health care professional it is a good idea to spell out some specific things to yourself first as a means of organizing your thoughts and presentation. For example, asking yourself and answering the following questions can go a long way toward clarifying what you are experiencing:
- 1.How bad, on a scale of 1 10 is my pain?
- 2.How long have I had this pain?
- 3.What words can be used to describe it (tearing, burning, throbbing, etc.)?
- 4.What could have caused my pain? Is there an injury, psychologically stressful event, or activity I can link to its onset?
- 5.Are there any other health problems I am having?
- 6.In addition to pain medication, what other medicines am I taking?
- 7.What kinds of things have I done to try alleviating the pain? Have any helped, even some?
- 8.Both emotionally and physically, how has pain affected my daily life, be it at work or at home?
The questions do not have to end with the examples above, of course, and asking a few may help you zero in on more specific inquiries just as the information provided will help your physician to get a clearer picture of what is happening with you. Once the chronic pain is described, a variety of approaches, alone or in combination, are available to treat it.
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