As anyone coping with chronic pain knows, the physical sensation of pain is only half the story. Just as important is how the pain affects you, its impact on your life. During your visits to your health care provider, he or she will try to establish how your pain is affecting your life at home and at work by asking several questions.
- Does your pain affect your relationships with family and friends?
- Does your pain affect how you exercise?
- Does your pain impede your ability to have fun?
- Does your pain affect your mood?
- How are you coping with your pain?
Many patients with chronic pain suffer from depression and anxiety because they can't do the things they used to; they are worried about what the future holds.
Communicating these feelings to your health care provider is crucial, as there are treatments that can help with these problems. Depression and anxiety can make chronic pain harder to endure and harder to treat. Often, these problems can be taken care of with prescription drugs and counseling. Then, both patient and health care provider can focus their energies on treating the principal challenge, the pain itself.