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How to Communicate Pain to Your Doctor

After a car accident, one of the most crucial things that you can do is accurately describe the pain that you are feeling to your doctor. But pain can be hard to describe, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms.

But it’s clear, accurately communicating the nature of your pain (throbbing, stabbing, dull, etc.) can help your doctor come up with the best plan to treat your unique injuries.

Our team at Impact Med Sun City Center describes how you can accurately communicate your pain to your doctor so you can get the best care possible.

What Causes Your Pain?

Being able to properly communicate the pain that you are feeling to your doctor allows them to understand the extent of your injuries following a car accident. Other things to keep in mind include:

  • Does anything make the pain feel better?
  • What makes it worse?
  • Are you able to complete your daily living activities, or is the pain interfering?
  • When you feel the pain, is it constant or does it come and go?

During the first few days and weeks following your accident you may feel a change in the type and frequency of your pain, so you might want to keep a journal of how you are feeling and where the pain is located so you can discuss it with your doctor.

Describing Your Pain

Pain can mean different things, and there are several ways to describe it. Is it dull, sharp, stabbing, burning, throbbing, shooting, twisting, stretching, or even nauseating? Do you have more than one of these sensations, or are they exhibited in other places in your body? Make sure to tell your doctor.

Ensure that you are communicating all the symptoms that you are experiencing and the location of them so that your doctor can come up with a treatment plan that will be right for you.

Where is the Pain Located?

Not only is it important to tell your doctor where the pain is located, but you also need to explain whether it radiates, or moves around, as this can be an important piece of information that can help your physician build a treatment plan.

Also, make sure your doctor knows if your pain started in one place, but is now somewhere else.

How Severe is Your Pain?

Your doctor will likely ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0-10. Zero denotes no pain at all, and 10 is the most severe pain that you have ever felt. Also, make sure to mention if your pain interferes with your daily activities or if the intensity of the pain changes based on what you are doing.

Put a number on your pain when it is at its worst and make a note to tell your doctor.


Does your pain come and go? Does it interfere with your sleep? Does it worsen as the day goes on? Or does it hurt more when you wake up, or after you have been sitting for a long time? Does your pain lead to additional pain elsewhere?

Timing is important to a diagnosis, so ensure that you tell your doctor.

Pain is Subjective

Discuss all pain that you are feeling after an accident, so your physician can diagnose your symptoms appropriately and order the necessary tests to get to the bottom of what is wrong.

Pain is subjective, and the cause cannot always be determined by tests, so it’s crucial to illustrate an accurate picture of your pain for your doctor. This not only helps with a diagnosis but will help your doctor monitor your progress for future visits.

Staying on track of your pain and following up with your doctor regularly, will help ensure that you recover well from your accident injuries.

Get to the Bottom of Your Pain

If you are experiencing any pain following a car accident, our caring team at Impact Med Sun City Center is here to help you heal and recover.

Come visit us in Sun City Center for a consultation or call for an appointment today; 813-938-5195!