Managing pain can be…well…a pain. There are many different medications, topical treatments, stretches, and exercises that can help alleviate the discomfort. You can find some of our favorite techniques our Pinterest but one practice we want to highlight today is journaling. Pain Management Journaling can help so many, some often surprising, ways. Not only a tool of encouragement (or an outlet for anger because, let’s be honest, pain can cause some pretty ugly anger…no experience here…yeah right) journaling can help identify triggers, weather patterns, and dietary habits that might contribute to pain.
We all remember the journals we kept as kids. What happened that day, who we were in love with at that moment, and doodles of our names with squiggles and hearts. Maybe that’s just a girl’s journal. You get the point though. Pain Management Journaling doesn’t have to be a mature Shakespearian project. We suggest keeping the following information in your pain journal:
- Date and Time of entry – If recalling the entire day triggers a headache, make notes during mealtimes.
- Your Pain Scale # – Here’s your chance to draw squiggly frowny faces or furrowed eyebrows. Just rate your pain using the standard 1-10 scale and jot that number down next to your personal emoji.
- Location & Description of Pain – Feel free to get colorful here 😉 It’s a good idea to jot down a word bank of pain and emotion words to improve consistency.
- Food & Water Intake – This can help you (and your doctor) identify triggers like dehydration or certain foods.
- Activities – We all know life is B.U.S.Y. Sometimes an activity can be completely overlooked as a pain trigger. Journaling helps bring this to light and you can either avoid this activity in the future or better prepare your body to go through it.
- Meds & Alternative Treatments taken – Taking note of all warfare against pain definitely helps you & your doctor discover side effects from medications and make adjustments to dosages or administration (time taken, etc)
- Emotions – Again, feel free to get colorful here. Some studies show, due to the brain circuitry tied to emotions, swearing can somewhat alleviate the stress and pain. Just don’t let your mama find it under your mattress!