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Why do some find Pain difficult to describe?

Why do some find Pain difficult to describe?

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Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

My mother was having some chest discomfort.

I wanted her to describe it to me but she found this very difficult.

It's just painful.

I will admit this frustrates me.

Is it sharp or dull? Does it ache, throb, burn?

Is it intermittent or constant?

What brings it on? What makes it worse? What relieves it?

She found it very difficult to give me the details I wanted to help make a diagnosis. This is not an uncommon scenario in clinic. Some just find it near impossible to describe their pain.

I don't quite understand it and that's why I'm asking the question. Can you explain?

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
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