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Five chronic pain patient no-nos and how to avoid them

by , 24 November 2017
Five chronic pain patient no-nos and how to avoid them
According to statistics, around 43 million Americans report living with chronic pain, defined as pain lasting for at least three months. Despite this, chronic pain is woefully untreated not only in the United States, but globally.

One of the biggest challenges that chronic pain patients face is trying to ‘get through' to a doctor. “One of the things that patients cry out the most for is having someone actually listen to them and understand them,” explains Micke Brown, director of advocacy at the American Pain Foundation.

That being said, a patient's actions can sometimes make a doctor's job more difficult. Are you making your chronic pain worse? Here are the five biggest mistakes that chronic pain patients make…

The five biggest mistakes that chronic pain patients make

#1: You arrive at your doctors’ visits
It’s important that you arrive at each and every one of your doctors’ visit fully prepared. Have questions in order of priority written down and any medication refill needs on hand. If you keep a pain diary, take that with, too.
 
#2: You aren’t honest with your doctor
Are you afraid to disappoint your doctor if you’ve made little or no progress? Or too embarrassed to admit that you’ve failed to take your medication as directed? No matter how uncomfortable you feel, you need to be forthcoming with your doctor about everything.

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#3: You haven’t kept track of your long-term treatment
It’s your job to keep track of your long-term treatment, such as medical files with copies of doctors’ notes and lab reports. Also, make sure you updated and review these documents on a regular basis.
 
#4: You aren’t an active part of the solution
As a chronic pain patient, you have to think of yourself as being an active part of the solution. You’ll benefit from researching the ins and outs of your condition and treatment options.
 
#5: You’re burning bridges with your doctor
Leaving your doctor’s practice in haste or anger can prevent cooperation in the future for medical care with another doctor.
 
There you have it – the five biggest mistakes that chronic pain patients make.

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