The Ways to Determine the Severity of Back Pain
Some people with lower back pain describe it as excruciatingly severe, while others with the same problem describe it as slight discomfort. Because back and neck pain sufferers may characterize their level of pain in a variety of ways, it’s critical to communicate your symptoms properly to your back doctor so that they can develop a treatment plan that has a better chance of working.
Describing the Cause of Your Discomfort
In Oklahoma, most board-certified back pain doctors rate the severity of a patient’s back or neck discomfort on a scale of 1-10. The issue is that there isn’t a clear context for the discussion. Instead, use a pain scale that you and your doctor agree on to describe your discomfort in a way that you both understand. An illustration of this is when you use a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being mild and 7 being severe.
Using the Locates Pain Scale
The American Pain Foundation suggests that patients utilize the LOCATES scale (explained in greater detail below) to express their pain more precisely. It’s a method that aims to provide clinicians with a more accurate description of pain so they may better target diagnosis and treatment efforts.
L (location) – Where do you feel the discomfort? Is it capable of spreading to other areas of the body? (Back and neck problems commonly causes radiating pain)
O-Do you have any additional symptoms that are associated with this? (Sciatica is frequently accompanied by symptoms such as weakness and weariness).
C- Whether the pain is severe, mild, or throbbing is determined by the letter C.
A-When it comes to the discomfort, what seems to aggravate it the most? Is there a timeframe when you think the discomfort will go away?
T (time and pain) – How long does the discomfort last? It’s either intermittent (happens occasionally) or chronic (remains constant over time).
E (environment) – Where and when is the discomfort more frequent? (at home, when driving, or while sitting, at work,)
S- What would you rank the pain’s severity as, S (severity)? Either as “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe” on a scale system).
Muscle stiffness, for example, should be mentioned to your doctor if you experience any other symptoms besides pain. Whatever the cause of your discomfort may be, even if you don’t believe it’s essential, it can help with your diagnosis and therapy.
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**Disclaimer: This content should not be considered medical advice and does not imply a doctor-patient relationship.