Talking To Your Doctor About Chronic Pain

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

According to the American Pain Foundation, some 76.2 million people, or 26 percent of the population, suffer from pain that lasts more than 24 hours.

For most people, the pain will eventually subside or even disappear; however, for 42 percent of those with pain, it will last longer than a year. In order to get effective pain treatment, it is important to be able to accurately describe your pain to your physician.

“Dealing with chronic pain is a process,” says Dr. James Bressi, medical director of the Falls Pain Management Center at Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital. “The more specific patients can be when speaking to a doctor, the more likely we’ll be able to successfully manage the symptoms.”

Dr. Bressi recommends using the L.O.C.A.T.E.S. scale when speaking to your doctor about pain. L.O.C.A.T.E.S. stands for:

Location of pain: Does it travel to other body parts or is it in one area?


Other symptoms: Are you experiencing any numbness, weakness or nausea?

Character of pain: Does the pain throb, or is it sharp, dull or burning?

Aggravating and alleviating factors: What improves or worsens the pain?

Timing of the pain: How long does it last? Is the pain constant or does it come and go?

Environment where pain occurs: Does it happen when you’re at work or home?

Severity of pain: On a scale of 0-10, where does your pain rank?

The Falls Pain Management Center provides state-of-the-art pain management services. The specially-trained staff treats the following conditions: headaches, arthritis, complex pelvic pain, pain from industrial or accidental injuries, post-traumatic pain, cancer pain and other chronic pain conditions. To learn more or to schedule an appointment at the Falls Pain Management Center, please call (330) 971-PAIN.