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How to Describe Back Pain

There are many adjectives that can be used to describe a pain. It is important that you are able to convey your message to a spine doctor in Millburn, NJ and tell them exactly what kind of pain you are feeling. The better the description, the more information the doctor has about that symptom. Here are a variety of different ways that you can express your pain to those around you.

Trying to describe how a pain feels can be difficult at first and frustrating. Instead of descriptive hints to explain the extent of what you are feeling you can only come up with “it hurts”. It is challenging for doctors to evaluate pain because it is experienced by everyone differently. It is highly subjective: what hurts for one person may not hurt at all for another. But where doctors generally begin is by asking how much it hurts on a scale of one to ten. The doctor will then describe the possible results. If a pain gets a 0 or a 1 then it is next to nothing. If you pick a ten, it is the worst pain that you have ever felt in your life. Again, the subjective change seems to limit the accuracy of this scale for each individual.

There is an easy way to remember the various parts of this next scale. The LOCATES scale can be broken down into a category for each letter of the word. Use this with a pain diary to document your pain and to get used to describing it as well as possible.

L – The location of the pain is the first thing you should write down. Also note whether the pain is traveling to other parts of the body.

O – Other associated symptoms should include any other sickness that is presenting with the pain, such as nausea, numbness, or weakness.

C – The character of the pain can be described in many ways. A throbbing pain, sharp pain, dull pain, and burning pain are all different types.

A – Aggravating factors and alleviating factors should detail things that happen that make the pain worse, or things that happen that make the pain better.

T – The timing of the pain has to do with how long it lasts and whether it is a constant pain or intermittent one. This bit of information can help a doctor realize what is really going on.

E – Environment is what was going on with you when the pain occurred. Whether you were sitting at work, golfing with the boys, or sitting and watching television is good information.

S – Severity can be described on a scale from zero to ten. Zero means that there is no pain at all, and ten means that you have never had anything hurt worse.

Axial pain is also known as mechanical pain. It is the most common cause of back pain and can present in many different ways. Sharp, dull, constant, or coming and going are good indicators.

Referred pain moves around and changes in intensity. It is often thought about as a dull and achy pain. It has the effect of radiating form the lower back region, the groin area, pelvic area, upper thigh area and butt. Injuries to interconnecting sensory nerves located in the lower back can cause this pain.

Ridiculer pain is found to be deep and it radiates through the arms and legs. This kind of pain can be accompanies by numbness, tingling, or feeling weak. Compression or inflammation to a spinal nerve root.

With all these ways to describe your pain, you should be able to pinpoint to a doctor exactly what they need to know. Remember the locates scale and start a pain diary to day so you can better explain your pains as they come.