In the United States, approximately 20% of all adults suffered from chronic pain. An additional 8% experienced the kind of pain which limits activities and thus influences the overall quality of life. Women and older adults, it seems, present the highest risk for such health problems.
When one is in constant pain, the overall mobility can be affected and one can become dependent on medication for relief. Moreover, there is a higher risk of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Keeping track of one’s pain in a pain log can be beneficial, in the sense that it will guide the diagnosis in the right direction and it will help one’s physician recommend more adequate treatment solutions.
Why should you monitor your pain?
Pain is a complex symptom and one that can reveal valuable information about your health status. When you use a health app such as CareClinic to track your pain, you are gathering information about its intensity, frequency and potential triggers. The more you and your doctor know about your pain, the easier it will be to address the underlying issue.
For example, by keeping a diary of your pain, you might be able to discover if stress, sleep deprivation or weather changes have contributed to your symptoms or not. You can track all of the things that might impact your pain and get an understanding of potential triggers. As a result, you can try different solutions to cope with the pain or eliminate it altogether.
The regular monitoring through the pain log is beneficial from another perspective as well. The CareClinic health app will offer you with monthly reports, which are created in accordance to your entries. You can print the report or opt for the pain log PDF version, sharing your information with the doctor.
Together, you can find the most suitable treatments and interventions solutions, obtaining the necessary pain relief and improving your overall quality of life. (R)
What is the best way to log your pain?
Before the advent of technology, people were advised to keep a regular diary, in which they were to document everything about their chronic pain. CareClinic can easily keep track of pain in a log format through regular entries as shown on the left.
The app is available on both iOS and Android, it is simple to use and it guarantees the faithful recording of our pain-related information. There is also a web version that can be used, which includes the same features.
If you have decided to use the CareClinic app as a daily pain log, you should begin by creating your care plan.
Step 1: Create My Care Plan
Step 2: Add goals to achieve with your plan
Step 3: Add medication & supplements for pain relief
Step 4: You can invite friends or family members to be part of your care team
Note: within the application, you can review sample plans, which will offer a better idea of how a care plan should look like.
The care plan should include information about your medication, dosage, and frequency, as well as details on various therapies, activities, nutrition etc. You can add notes for all of these so that you can get a better overview of what works and what is not suited to your condition.
If you are taking medication for pain management, you can go to ‘My Calendar’ and set up reminders to ensure the necessary medication adherence. The app will reveal both active and inactive reminders, as well as those set for refills.
Based on your reminders, you will be presented with the subsequent medication adherence. You can view the reminders in the calendar and use this feature for doctor appointments as well.
Adding symptoms into the pain management log is simple. As soon as you have experienced pain, you can log the respective symptom into the CareClinic app. You can also mention when did the symptom start and how long it took to stop. Notes can be added directly, and you can connect your entries to the existent health conditions (for example, the chronic pain syndrome).
The application allows you to record multiple symptoms and even different types of pain. As you will see below, the type of pain can also guide the diagnosis and help your physician identify the most adequate solutions for pain relief.
Based on your entries, a pain chart will be created, along with a monthly report. This pain graph can reveal important details about your symptoms, and how intense or frequent these are. You can share the pain scale chart as well with your physician, but always make sure that you provide an accurate value of your symptoms.
The health journal is one of the most interesting features the CareClinic health app has to offer, in the sense that it allows one to record additional information about the pain experienced.
If you want to make an entry within the health journal, all you have to do is go to Create Post. You can write about your pain in the journal, along with any other symptoms you experienced or emotional issues associated with your current condition. These entries can be reviewed at all times, providing you with a comprehensive overview of your health status.
The physician can benefit tremendously from the information you have added to the patient pain log. The specialist will be able to see how often pain has occurred, how intense it was and in association with which triggers. Based on this information, one can provide an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment solutions.
At the end of each month, as previously mentioned, the application can issue a report containing a detailed analysis of your pain and underlying conditions. The doctor can review the medication log, for example, and make adjustments to your treatment if necessary.
It is essential to mention that the medication logs will serve the doctor to review the treatment plan, especially if the pain has become worse or other symptoms have appeared.
The CareClinic health report can be exported from the application as a PDF document (or printed) and shared with the health physician. Owing to this report, you will feel freer to discuss with your healthcare provider about the best solutions to get rid of pain and improve the overall quality of life.
The physician will analyze the reports and logs, looking for triggers and patterns that make the pain worse. The pain dairy will offer a consistent record of your pain experience and the more detailed you are in your entries, the easier it will be for the physician to come up with the best treatment solutions.
It is always a good idea to be honest about how the pain feels. Use the CareClinic health diary to record what makes the pain better, such as medication or changing positions. Make sure to mention that makes it worse or provokes it, such as movement or specific positions. The doctor can take your information and come with a treatment plan that is suited to your current condition.
Types of Pain To Track in your Pain Log
There are different types of pain that can be tracked and managed. First and foremost, one can suffer from acute (sudden onset) or chronic pain, in accordance with how long this symptom has been present. Pain can be localized, diffuse or generalized. It can appear on its own or in relation with various activities. The location of the pain can guide one towards a specific diagnosis; for example, if you suffer from liver disease, you might experience pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.
You might also record the pain experienced according to the location. For example, you might present lower back pain, pain in the ribs or headaches. With headaches, things are even more complicated, in the sense that there are different types that can bother you (tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches).
What are the most common types of pain? These include muscle and joint pain, arthritis pain, back pain, stomach pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, TMJ pain, abdominal pain, chest pain, hip pain, nerve pain and so on. Several different types of pain might be present, requiring a multidisciplinary approach for pain relief to occur.
Each person will experience pain in his/her own way. Moreover, we each have different levels of tolerance to pain, this being the main reason why an adapted intervention plan is always required. New pains might appear on top of the existent symptoms, so it is essential to take potential changes that can occur into consideration. (R)
What else should I remember about tracking pain?
In order to obtain a comprehensive overview of your pain experience, you should record your symptoms on a daily basis. The pain log template of the CareClinic health app is not complicated and it is for the best to record your symptoms as they occur, as recounting those from memory might not be as accurate as you would want.
When describing your pain, be sure to mention how intense it is, where it was located, its nature and also the time of day. You can also assess your pain using a scale – for example, a zero might mean “no pain”, while a ten would be equal to the “worst possible pain”. Mention the solutions you resorted to for pain relief, whether these include medication, various therapies, natural remedies, etc. You might also want to record how the pain felt after some time, or what activities were associated with such symptoms.
You might not necessarily want to be detailed in your app entries. Nevertheless, you should find the energy and time to record your symptoms in a detailed manner. Aside from assessing your pain on a scale from 1 to 10, you can mention whether the pain interferes with your activities or not. You can use various adjectives to describe the pain, including “disrupting”, “discomforting” or “unbearable”.
A health diary app such as ours is quite helpful for those who suffer from chronic pain. Aside from adding information to the pain log sheet, one can keep track of additional factors influencing the symptom, such as stress, mood, nutrition, physical activity and so on.
The application will help you make connections between various activities, events and weather changes, and the flare-ups of the pain syndrome. One will no longer feel alone or unsupported, as the application can provide guidance with regard to the long journey towards recovery or improvement. The more one will know about his/her condition, the more he/she will feel in control and thus be able to manage the existent pain in an effective manner. (R)