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How Journal Keeping Helps Chronic Pain Sufferers

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One thing that you can do to help any chronic pain condition is something that is nearly free and isn’t swallowed, injected, or applied to the body. Keeping a journal can really nail down items that would otherwise go unsaid and create a document that shows pattern.

For example, bringing your journal can show your doctor patterns of when the pain is worse and when it is better and if the pain triggers can be pinpointed.

But what kind of journal? Don’t think you’ll need to run out and get a fancy leather-bound thing. Pull out a spiral bound notebook and get to writing. Describe how you feel, tell what you ate, what exercise you did, where the pain is; is it sharp or dull, etc. These easy things can really be a helpful tool for yourself and for your doctor to share in your recovery.

Make sure you turn off your internal editor though. You should just write and not worry if they are complete sentences, run on sentences, or if it sounds like "whining." This isn’t about being proper or being proud, this is about creating a starting point for you to have a good, complete reference of your pain issues. This should be thinking out loud and in print' doesn’t matter if it’s actually written down or if you keep your journal in the computer, as long as you can print it and take it to your doctor or pain management professional.

I’ll admit, I need to practice what I preach here. I tend to have a way about me of just saying what is bothering me at that moment and not what has been or anything that I’ve noticed. I’m very passive in my treatment now, where I was aggressive. I see an empty notebook next to the computer in the office, and I’m thinking that today is as good of a day as any to start. When will you?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Chronic Pain

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