How to describe the feeling of pain to the doctor?

When a person is ill, various organs of the body may give an alarm, [pain] is one of the common signals.

However, it is a university question to describe one’s pain to a doctor. We often encounter such scenes:

Although professional doctors can slowly ask your questions, wouldn’t it be better for us to explain earlier where and how it hurts and to suffer less?

Today Ding Dang invited a neurologist to talk about how to quickly and accurately explain this [pain] to the doctor.

Step 1: Where does it hurt

In other words, describe the location of the pain. For example, the stomachache, is it the pain above or below the stomachache?

If you can’t say for sure, Ding Dong suggests that you can lift your clothes and show them to the doctor.

There are also some pains, which are professionally called [involved pain] or [radiation pain]. Pain can also occur in other positions near one pain site, which can well indicate the onset site of the disease and cannot be ignored.

Step 2: How does it hurt

There are many types of pain, such as dull pain, distending pain, soreness, colic, drill-like pain and burst pain in what…….

People in different places and different language habits may have different expressions, but when we cannot express our symptoms clearly, we can try to use analogy to further explain them.

For example:

Stabbing pain is the same pain as needle pricking.

Burning pain is pain like fire.

Expansion pain is the pain that a certain part of the body supports from inside to outside.

Tearing pain is the pain of the painful part like being torn.


How do you know how to compare it if it has not been pricked by a needle or burned?

Well… maybe it takes more experience of all kinds of pain [life experience] to better describe pain to doctors.

Step 3: How painful is it

The degree of pain is often difficult to describe in words.

Therefore, some people wonder if they can quantify the pain, so they have the following two methods, which are reflected by numbers and expressions. The most painful situation is 10 points, and the total pain is 0 points.

How much does it hurt?

This is not a good answer, because pain is not only a physiological reaction, but also related to subjective cognition. Zhang San felt this pain, Li Si did not necessarily feel it. Therefore, there is a historical problem of which is more painful, giving birth or kicking balls.

However, according to the existing population survey, among the pain we often say, the [labor pain] when giving birth is generally the most painful, with an average of 8 points.

Think about it, giving birth can hurt for 10 hours, but if you want your balls kicked for 10 hours in a row…

How do you refer to those who have never had children and will never have children? The average score of fracture pain can reach 7 points, and the average score of herpes zoster and toothache can reach 6 points.

In the previous sentence, it is still good to have more life experience.

Step 4: How long does it hurt

In other words, the duration and frequency of pain should be described to the doctor:

Pain first started in what?

How long did this [pain] last?

How long did each pain attack last before?

A few weeks? A few days? Or hours, minutes?


If we don’t remember the specific time, we can also give an approximate estimated time or recall the time point.

But if we only say [a long time ago], there is no help from what.

Step 5 Problems Related to Pain

Most of the time, doctors will also ask these questions:

Press the painful part, will the pain worsen or relieve?

If you have stomachache, will the pain be relieved after bending down?

Will abdominal pain be relieved after defecation?

Does the pain relieve after rest?


These are all factors that affect the aggravation or relief of pain and are helpful for doctors to judge.

Of course, in addition to pain, we may also describe the whole process of the disease, as well as the what measures we have taken before, the what drugs we have used, where we have seen the disease, etc.

Efficient diagnosis and treatment cannot be separated from the cooperation of patients.

In addition to describing your illness, when the doctor asks for some information, as a patient, you should try your best to understand the doctor’s intention and answer the question accurately. Never expect the doctor to have mind reading or fluoroscopy, and can give a 100% accurate diagnosis based on limited symptoms.