Helping patients with chronic pain can be challenging for the healthcare practitioner

Helping patients with chronic pain can be challenging for the healthcare practitioner.

For many clinicians, patients with chronic pain are stereotyped as “emotional vampires” because the patients’ physical and psychological presentation suck the life out of the provider making effective treatment difficult to say the least.

Certainly long standing pain can have its effects on ones psyche and can consume every aspect of the patient’s life. The key to coping with chronic pain is to be proactive and become part of the solution rather than the person everyone hides from when you walk in the door.

In this article, Health.com author, Susan Levy, reviews how to avoid the 6 mistakes most chronic pain patients make.

It’s not uncommon for chronic pain patients to report a difficult encounter with a doctor.

“One of the things that patients cry out the most for is having someone actually listen to them and understand them,” says Micke Brown, director of advocacy at the American Pain Foundation.

Andrea Cooper, 52, a fibromyalgia patient and patient advocate in Phoenix, Md., agrees, but also notes that a patient’s actions can sometimes make a doctor’s job harder.

Here’s how to avoid the top six pain patient no-no’s.

Mistake 1: Arriving unprepared

Cooper recommends writing down questions in order of priority, keeping a pain diary, and having medication refill needs on hand.

Mistake 2: Failing to keep track of long-term treatment

Patients should keep their own medical file at home with copies of lab reports and doctors’ notes. These should be updated and reviewed regularly.

Mistake 3: Not being candid

Patients are sometimes afraid to disappoint a doctor if they have made little or no progress. They are embarrassed about certain symptoms or about their failure to take medication as directed. They need to be forthcoming.
(Mistakes 4, 5,and 6 here)

What’s been your experience with chronic pain? Let us know how you’ve managed your pain by sharing in the comments section below. Your approach may be just what someone needs to hear.

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