Dealing with an injury or chronic pain can be challenging, as most physical pain-related ailments can disrupt how you typically live your life. The problem with pain is that it is often difficult to describe, and when consulting with a doctor, it can often be misdiagnosed based on the language you use to describe your pain.
Due to past experiences, many people who are dealing with a serious injury or painful physical situation avoid going to see a doctor for fear that not only will it take time out of their day, but that their pain may be misdiagnosed anyway.
The challenging aspect to diagnosing your pain is that the doctor cannot physically feel what you feel. While they can take X-rays and try to assess the situation with their medical knowledge, if the pain is not described accurately, it can make it extremely difficult for them to find the source of the problem.
Using the right words can help them determine what is plaguing your body, helping them reach a diagnosis and treat the problem. Consequently, using the wrong words can lead them in a different direction, causing them to misdiagnose the situation, leaving you in serious pain.
When it comes to visiting your doctor and trying to convey your pain to them, here are a few tips on how to precisely describe your pain to your doctor.
One of the most important aspects to describing your pain accurately is confidence. Speaking with a doctor, especially if it is a brand new doctor, can be extremely intimidating. Feeling anxious about seeing a doctor can lead to you being tongue-tied and unintentionally misleading the doctor to a misdiagnosis.
Additionally, if speaking with a web doctor, it is critical you speak to them with confidence. Telemedicine is a growing field, as it allows people to speak with a doctor via an online video chat from the comfort of their own home. Apart from the significant benefits, including convenience, price, and wait time, it can be difficult to describe your pain to them since they are not able to assess the situation in person. Being confident in your speech can help them get a sense of the pain and what could possibly be causing it.
Being overly emotional in your descriptions can mislead a doctor, as they might believe the pain is more mental than physical. Be gentle but firm in your description, and be as emotionless as possible. Your lack of emotion will help validate your situation, asserting your authority. Moreover, it well help you remain calm and logical throughout the visit.
A great way for a doctor to assess your pain is to use the pain scale, as it can help give them context on your threshold for pain. While pain is subjective, as each person might rate the same injury differently, giving a doctor a number with context behind it can help them know where to begin diagnosing. For instance, give them a few different examples of injuries you have had in the past, rating the pain with a number. Then, rate your current pain with a number, allowing the doctor the ability to see where this pain falls in terms of other injuries.
Describing the Pain
Finally, in getting down to the details, the right descriptive words can give the doctor the right impression. Many people do not give enough details about their injury, instead relying on the doctor being able to diagnose the problem based on how much the pain hurts. However, for a doctor to diagnose, he or she needs to know the right details.
In most cases, nerve pain is often associated with words like “burning” or “buzzing,” whereas other injuries are described as having a dull ache associated with it or a severe, deep pain. Words like “sharp,” “pulsing,” “sore,” “piercing,” “numb,” “tender,” and “stinging,” among others are a good start.
Moreover, if it is hard to describe exactly what you are feeling, try to give an example of a similar type of pain. If the pain reminds you of something else you have experienced, make sure to relay that to the doctor. It can help them get an idea of what potentially could be causing the pain. Any little detail can help give them a frame of reference for your pain.
These tips can help you confidently and accurately describe your pain to your doctor, which can help you receive the right treatment as soon as possible.
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/doctor-security-office-hospital-1228629/