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Functional Medicine Explained
Categories: Chiropractic

Explain Your Pain To A Doctor

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El Paso TX. Chiropractor, Dr. Alex Jimenez discusses ways to assist you in getting the care for your pain at your next appointment.
Dr. Michael J. Cooney, D.CI’ve been treating patients with severe and chronic pain from around the corner in Rutherford, New Jersey to as far away as Australia and South Africa.

From our patient’s first reference to the past treatment office visit, the success of any pain treatment we prescribe is contingent upon us (the health care provider) correctly treating the cause of your pain.

As the patient, just describing your intense pain or neuropathic pain is a high stakes” conversation that is.“ I can read your medical history, attributing lab results and physician reports. However, this is secondary to understanding each patient’s pain mechanics. It is vital this is communicated to your pain management provider as correctly as possible.

For those fighting “invisible pain” such as fibromyalgia, CRPS (complex areas pain syndrome), RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), diabetic neuropathy or long-term pain after cancer treatment, correctly communicating the place, frequency and depth of the discomfort can be especially demanding and emotionally taxing.

You might wish to bring this short article for your next doctor visit and go over each of the critical pain description points I’ve outlined below.

I hope your doctor will ask you these questions, but if not, you can be your own pain promoter and offer this information.

“Tell Me About Your Pain”

Based on your medical records, we already know the reason behind your pain (injury or ailment). Our goal would be to remove or minimize these symptoms to restart your highest quality of life possible. 

Pain symptoms are private, subjective –and unique. (What Joe describes as “unbearable pain” could be considered “fairly disagreeable pain” to Mike). Through the years, I developed my own “pain diagnostic” conversation with patients to assist my team, and I understand what, where, when and just how much pain patients are feeling.

I’ve outlined key points below:

Time Matters

The key to a proper analysis. Don’t presume we know you’ve combated with this pain to get a month a year or a decade.

1.I’ve had this pain for _________________.

2.How frequently and how long does it last?

3.What ignites (flare) or lessens your pain and for how long?

Location, Location, Location

Graphic of a human body with a rear & front view (see above)

Doctors may instruct you to indicate the area/s where your pain is concentrated. They may also request that you notice a difference between pain which is on and the surface that’s below.

The front and back of the unisex individual figure are the most identifiable, although this tool comes from the McGill Pain Questionnaire including other measurements.

Most referring physicians, regardless of their medical specialty, utilize 1 to 10 point pain scale that is simple, so I keep everyone on the same page.

This tool comes from the McGill Pain Questionnaire including other measurements, but the front and back of the unisex person body are the most identifiable.

How Bad Is Your Pain – Measurement Tool

Take into consideration where your pain level falls the majority of the time—unless you experience extreme pain changes.

No Pain

0 – Painfree

Manageable Pain

1 – Pain is quite mild, barely noticeable. You don’t think about it.

2 – Small pain. Annoying and may have occasional twinges that are stronger.

3 – Pain distracting and is noticeable, you may get used to it and adapt.

Moderate Pain—Disrupts Regular Day-To-Day Living Tasks

4 – Moderate pain. If you should be genuinely in action, it may be blown off to get a time frame, but is diverting.

5 – Moderately strong pain. Can’t dismiss for more than a few minutes, but you still can manage to work or participate in some social activities.

6 – Rather great pain that interferes with normal daily activities. Difficulty focusing.

Severe Pain—Disabling; Debilitating, Reduces Daily Quality Of Life, Cannot Live Independently

7– Severe pain that dominates your senses and significantly restricts your capability to perform ordinary daily tasks or maintain social relationships and interferes with sleep.

8– Intense pain. Physical action is severely limited. Conversing requires great exertion.

9. Not able to converse. Weeping outside or moaning uncontrollably.

10– Unspeakable pain. Perhaps and bedridden delirious. Mobility may be undermined.

“My Pain Feels Like…”

Most of the time, patients experience one or two consistent pain “feelings,” but some can experience a variety of sensations.

The most common pain kinds are:

  • Sharp stabbing pain
  • Extreme heat or burning sensation
  • Extreme cold
  • Throbbing, inflamed tissue
  • Susceptibility to contact/touching
  • Itching
  • Numbness, tingling, pins & needles

Create A Pain Journal


I motivate patients or their family members to document a weeklong pain cycle until they meet with chiropractic, their pain management or alternative medicine team.

Additionally, jot down any treatments or activities that lessen or increase your discomfort.

As an example, maybe you have discovered that hot showers or cold weather allows you to feel worse, but exercise or Epsom salt baths make the pain more manageable.

If you come prepared with all this information, your time with all the physician can be spent focusing on next steps and also a treatment plan, rather than a lengthy Q & A review of the information supplied here.

More importantly, addressing these issues beforehand will ensure your physician receives up-to-date, higher quality information.

Consequently, your case assessment could come more quickly and a pain management plan can be placed into action to begin removing or reducing your suffering as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

Dr. Alex Jimenez

Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, posture control, health Instruction, functional fitness, and structural conditioning. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility.

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