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Help & advice

Chronic pain – keeping a pain log or diary

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Chronic pain is a distressing condition which is not widely understood. Because it is an ‘invisible’ illness, it can be difficult for other people to understand how the sufferer is feeling – after all, a broken leg is easy to see and therefore easier to understand. However, it is a fairly common problem and it is estimated that chronic pain affects around 1 in 7 of the British population.

As well as medication, and psychological intervention, it can be useful to self-manage your condition and it is therefore very useful to keep a pain log/diary. This is a sort of diary which lets you record when you feel pain and will hopefully help you to determine patterns so that you can learn to better manage daily activities to minimise the pain you feel.

It is easy for those suffering with chronic pain to steadily decrease their daily activities, due to the fear of aggravating their condition. However, maintaining your physical fitness is very important and a pain log will help you to understand what sorts of activities most influence your pain. This will teach you how far to push yourself before your pain becomes unbearable.

How do I keep a pain log?

There are various resources that you can download with a bit of research on Google, or your GP may be able to give you a log to complete directly. However, we suggest that as a bare minimum you include:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Pain levels 0 – 10 (from 0 for no pain to 10 for the worst pain)
  • Where is the pain and what sort of pain is it? (i.e. lower leg pain, pins and needles in feet and aching joints)
  • What activity was I doing when the pain started? (i.e. walking to the local shops)
  • How I feel 0 - 10 (from 0 for ok to 10 for very upset and agitated)
  • What am I thinking now? (E.g. I wish I hadn’t tried to walk to the shops etc.)
  • What could I alter to affect my pain? (E.g. only walk short distances, or walk to the shop but have someone pick me up etc.)

Inserting the above into a simple table such as the below, and filling in the details every day will help you to spot patterns in your daily life that effect your pain.

A pain log is also a very useful item to show your doctor or pain consultant as they will be able to see the extent of pain in your day-to-day life and work with you to create coping strategies.

If you think you have developed chronic pain as a result of an accident, we can help. Chronic pain is very difficult to diagnose and therefore it’s essential that you are assessed by a doctor with expertise in this complex area.

At CFG Law we have over 30 years’ experience helping clients with chronic pain. Working with a vast network of medical professionals across the UK, we are able to put you in touch with the best people to diagnose and treat your condition. Not only that, but our sympathetic solicitors can investigate your claim to make sure that you receive the compensation you need to fund early and ongoing medical care.

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