How Do You Describe Severe Pain to Your Doctor?


Quick Answer

One way to describe severe pain to your doctor is to rate it high on the pain scale from 0 to 10 that doctors use when trying to gauge a patient's pain level, as reported by Health.com. In this scale, 0 means that there is no pain to report and 10 is the worst kind of agonizing pain.

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Full Answer

The severity of pain also needs to be related to other factors to help the doctor make a proper diagnosis, adds Health.com. Such factors can be remembered by using what is called a LOCATES scale, with each letter in the name of the scale representing one of the factors.

These include the following: for "L," the location of the pain in the body; for "O," other symptoms or signs that may be associated with the severe pain such as nausea or vomiting; for "C," the character of the pain, meaning the type of pain it is, such as sharp or throbbing; and for "A," aggravating and alleviating factors, what makes the pain worse or what helps mitigate it. The last three factors are for "T," the timing of the pain, under what circumstances it occurs; for "E," the environment or conditions in which the pain changes; and "S," the severity, following the scale mentioned above, explains Health.com. To remember all this during the consultation, it could be helpful to keep a pain diary.

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