What’s a Pain Diary and Why Do I Need It?

Did you know that around 50 million people suffer from chronic pain? Chronic pain can cause disruptions in your daily life, from missing work to major family events.

Whether you’ve just started to deal with consistent soreness or have been battling it for years, a pain diary can help you document your systems. Keep track of what you feel each day so you and your healthcare provider can find a path for chronic pain management.

This guide will discuss what a pain diary is and why you need one.

What’s a Pain Diary?

With a pain diary, you write down your pain occurrences each day. You can include the following details in your log:

  • When you have pain
  • What kind of pain you’re experiencing
  • Your level of pain
  • Whether your treatment plan is helping

You’ll identify the type of pain you’re experiencing by implementing a pain scale. The pain scale ranges from 0 to 10. 0 signifies no pain, and 10 is significant pain.

For example, if you have a “3” on the pain scale, you might be experiencing occasional minor pain. A level “3” pain won’t affect your daily life.

An “8” on the pain scale signifies very intense pain. This level of pain will make it difficult to do any activity.

You can also track the following in your pain diary worksheet:

  • Any pain medication you took and the dosage
  • Side effects of the medication
  • Anything you ate, drank, or did that might’ve made your pain worse
  • Anything you ate, drank, or did that might’ve made your pain better

Consider the following things as you record pain experiences in your diary:

  • Where is your pain located?
  • Is the pain throbbing, shooting, tingling, etc.?
  • Does your pain get worse after or before meals/
  • Does your pain change at various times of the day?
  • Does your pain prevent you from falling asleep?
  • Does your pain wake you up at night?

Benefits of Utilizing a Pain Diary

Using a pain diary over time can help you and your healthcare provider understand what things or actions make your pain worse or better. The pain diary will help your doctor create a roadmap for pain management.

Pain diaries can help provide relief, so your pain doesn’t interfere with your daily life. In addition to decreased pain levels, you’ll experience the following benefits by using a pain diary:

  • Improved communication with your healthcare providers
  • Better mood
  • Effective pain management plans
  • Increased self-management of your pain

Many people who experience chronic pain feel as if they don’t have control over their quality of life or health problems. Your pain diary will help you get control. You and your healthcare provider will quickly detect patterns related to your chronic pain.

Find Relief for Your Chronic Pain With a Pain Diary

Monitoring your pain symptoms in a pain diary can help you find relief. Take control of your health and get on the road to recovery.

Did you find this article helpful? Check out some of our other articles in our Lifestyle category.