Anyone who is living with chronic pain knows all too well the devastating effect that it can have on your day to day life. It can feel as if life is on hold and there is no respite from the pain. It can also have enormous psychological implications and pain is often accompanied by anxiety, depression and frustration. Added to this there can be fears about work, about how you are going to manage financially if the pain does not lessen and the whole experience can quite simply dominate a person’s life.
At London Pain Clinic, we adopt a very holistic approach to pain. We are keen to see each patient as an individual, not simply as a ‘pain problem’. But we also encourage patients to take control over their pain and can regard the patient as being key to unlocking the chain that surrounds them, namely pain.
Keeping a ‘pain diary’ can be extremely useful for a week or so prior to coming to visit us. This will help chart your pain and ensure that the information you present is as accurate as possible. It is not always easy to remember the exact nature of pain at a specific time and the diary can be used as an ‘aide memoire’ to ensure that you give as many details as possible and therefore eliminate any guessing; you have all the information about your pain right there at your fingertips.
Log of Treatments
In addition to the pain diary, it can also be helpful to keep a record of how you felt after any treatments. For example, if you have received a nerve root block or have had a PENS (Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) treatment, then it can be helpful to chart the days after the treatment, was there an improvement? What was that improvement? Did anything that you did suddenly bring the pain back and so on.
This can be important, because it can put things into context and shed greater light on any condition that you may have, it is almost like presenting the full picture of your pain.
Pain and Memory
Pain can often block out the memory. So instead of remembering that the pain was not too bad on Monday and Tuesday, if we have had great pain from Tuesday night to Friday afternoon, we can often forget that the pain was actually reasonable at the beginning of the week, instead we concentrate on the fact that the pain is now intolerable. This is nothing to do with intelligence or memory, it is simply because pain does affect the brain and in turn our perceptions of the pain. So accurately recording pain and the impact of any treatments can really help to enlighten us when you come to a pain clinic.
Our approach to pain is resolute; we will do all we can to eradicate it and given our levels of expertise and that we have the most technologically advanced facilities at our disposal, we are extremely successful in our mission to rid people of their pain; not just for today and tomorrow, but forever.