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Communicating About Pain

You have a right to have your pain treated. Untreated pain can limit eating, sleeping, and activity. Communication about pain with your healthcare provider should be a part of your relationship. It may not be possible to relieve all the pain. But your healthcare provider can work with you to come up with a plan to focus on function and living well with the pain. 

Your role

Tell your healthcare provider about the pain and your health history. Be sure to:

  • Mention all the medicines you take, including any you buy over-the-counter. Mention any herbs, teas, or vitamins you take, too.

  • Mention any pain relief techniques you use, such as massage or meditation.

  • Measure pain as directed.

  • Follow your treatment plan. Tell your healthcare provider how well your treatment plan works.

As pain is managed, you'll be able to do more. Pain that is managed means you can feel like you have more control. This also allows you to engage in activities you find meaningful and enjoyable. 

Your healthcare provider’s role

Your healthcare provider will help you measure and manage pain. You will be told about your pain control options. These may or may not include medicines. It depends on what is right for you and your body. Options like physical therapy and acupuncture may also help. There are many ways a healthcare provider can help you develop a plan for managing your pain. It will likely be several different healthcare providers who can help.

Note for family and friends

It may be hard to understand how your loved one feels. But the pain he or she has is real. You may not be able to stop the pain. You can help in other ways, though. Spend time with your loved one. You can still enjoy activities together. There are resources to help understand how chronic pain works and how it can be managed. Encouragement and support is important on both ends. Working together to manage this pain is key to moving forward.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 6/1/2018
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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