How best to describe life with chronic pain? It is a different journey for each of us. An important thing to remember is that YOU are the best advocate for your own pain management. Your health care team will ask many questions to help identify the source and reasoning behind your condition, and being prepared for a visit with your healthcare practitioner can sometimes be a challenge.
A few helpful hints to keep in mind as you communicate with your healthcare team:
1. Be concise with the information you provide. Keeping a small journal or notebook with you at all times and jotting down specifics during a bout of pain can really assist your provider in providing tools for your care.
2. Write down specific questions to ask your practitioner. These may include:
What is causing my pain?
What can be done, specifically, to make it better?
What can I do to help manage my pain?
Is there a specific plan of treatment for this type of pain?
Be sure and leave space between your questions so you can write down the answers. Even if your practitioner does not have all the answers, it is a great basis for conversation to help with future care.
3. Nature has provided a convenient place on your hand to help with the pain of headaches and other parts of the body. To find this point, make a fist. You will notice a small mound where the thumb and index finger meet. There is a reflex just below the peak of this mound. It is the reflex to the adrenal gland, a gland that releases small amounts of cortisone so is very good for anti-inflammatory purposes. Feel around this area until you notice a tender spot. Pump this area for about 10 seconds and release.. Do this 2-3 times, several times a day. This can all help in providing relief from everyday pains.