If you are living with chronic pain, it is important that you meet with your doctor regularly. All people tolerate pain to different degrees, so you'll need to work with your doctor to monitor your symptoms and your response to therapy.
Your doctor will begin assessing your pain by taking your history, which may help establish if your pain is caused by a physical illness, such as cancer, or if your pain is affected by psychological factors, such as depression or anxiety. In addition, your doctor may ask you to rate your pain by using a pain scale. A pain scale can help your doctor gauge if your pain is changing over time.
It is also important to determine the degree to which your pain is affecting your ability to enjoy life. Your doctor may vary the approach to treatment based on whether you find your pain to be only annoying vs. debilitating.
Finally, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and may order one or more diagnostic tests. A multitude of diseases and conditions can lead to chronic pain, and the results of your physical exam and diagnostic tests may help your doctor focus on one cause.
Until your doctor assesses your health status and understands the way you experience chronic pain, he or she must consider many possible causes.