An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Valuable Resources


Scroll down to locate these useful resources:

~ Patient Pain Assessment Tool by the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

~ Target Chronic Pain Notebook from the former American Pain Association

~ "I’ve Got Nothing to Lose by Trying it": Weighing the claims about cures and treatments for long-term conditions. by SenseAboutScience.com

~ American Chronic Pain Association Resource Guide to Chronic Pain Medication and Treatment, 2013 Edition

~ Re-Charge for Caregivers by PartnersInPain.com
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Patient Pain Assessment Tool 
An excellent tool to help you to define and communicate to others about your pain.


Patient Pain Assessment Tool
by the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

1. Where is your pain? _____________________________________________

2. Circle the words that describe your pain.
         aching   throbbing   shooting   stabbing   gnawing  sharp  penetrating 
         tender   nagging   burning   numb   exhausting   miserable   tiring   unbearable

3. What time of day is your pain the worst? Circle one.
         morning   afternoon   evening   continuous   occasional

4.  Rate your pain by circling the number that best describes your pain at its worst in the last month.
No Pain 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Pain as bad as you can imagine

5. Rate your pain by circling the number that best describes your pain at its least in the last month.
No Pain 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pain as bad as you can imagine

6. Rate your pain by circling the number that best describes your pain on average in the last month.
No Pain 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pain as bad as you can imagine

7. Rate your pain by circling the number that best describes your pain right now.
No Pain 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pain as bad as you can imagine

8 .What makes your pain better?–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 

9.  What makes your pain worse? ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 

10.  What treatments or medicines are you receiving for your pain? (Write in blanks on the next page.) Then, Circle the number to describe the amount of relief the treatment or medicine provide(s) you. 

  1. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– No 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Complete Relief 
  2. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  No 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Complete  Relief
  3. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––No 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Complete  Relief 
  4. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– No 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Complete Relief 

11. What side effects or symptoms are you having? Circle the number that best describes your experience during the past week.

 Nausea  -    Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine

Vomiting  -  Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine 

 Constipation -  Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine

 Lack of Appetite - Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine e

 Tired -  Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine

 Itching - Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine

 Nightmares -Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine  

 Sweating -  Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine

 Difficulty Thinking  - Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine 

 Insomnia  -  Barely Noticeable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Severe Enough to Stop Medicine


12.  Circle the one number that describes how during the past week pain has interfered with your:

  General Activity - Does Not  Interfere  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   Completely Interfere

  Mood  -  Does Not  Interfere  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   Completely Interfere

  Normal Work  -  Does Not  Interfere  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   Completely Interferes

  Sleep  -  Does Not  Interfere  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   Completely Interferes

   Enjoyment of Life  -  Does Not  Interfere  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   Completely Interferes

  Ability to Concentrate   - Does Not  Interfere  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   Completely Interferes


Partners Against Pain®  
Prepared by Elizabeth J. Narcessian, M.D., Clinical Chief of Pain Management, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation® 
F5375 PAP023 07/08


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“Target Chronic Pain Notebook" 

 This printable notebook, put out by the now defunct American Pain Association, allows you to track your pain  day by day. Doing so will provide you and  your care providers  detail which may significantly improve your treatment.   

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“I’ve Got Nothing to Lose by Trying it: Weighing the claims about cures and treatments for long-term conditions.”

A super useful booklet to help you evaluate the benefits vs risks of trying new, unproven treatments, before you spend your precious time and money.

Print your own copy at:  
www.senseaboutscience.org


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        American Chronic Pain Association Resource Guide to 
                    Chronic Pain Medication and Treatment: 
                                             2013 Edition

A thorough guide to help patients gain knowledge about all forms of pain management.
 I study it carefully each year, and bring it to each neurology appointment 
to review with my doctor! 

   Print your copy at:  


TABLE OF CONTENTS:
(to give you an idea of how thorough the guide is!)
INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................................................................6 
PAIN TYPES & CHRONIC PAIN CLASSIFICATION.........................................................................................................8 
PAIN IN CHILDREN ........................................................................................................................................................9 
PAIN IN OLDER PERSONS..............................................................................................................................................9 
CLINICAL TRIALS .......................................................................................................................................................10 
MEDICATIONS AND CHRONIC PAIN............................................................................................................................11
HOW MEDICATIONS CAN HELP & HARM..................................................................................................................12 
ADVICE FROM THE ACPA ..........................................................................................................................................13 
WARNING ABOUT INTERNET MEDICATION PURCHASES ..........................................................................................14 

M
EDICATION PICTURES..............................................................................................................................................16 
MEDICATION SIDE EFFECTS, DRUG ALLERGIES, & DRUG INTERACTIONS..............................................................17 
OFF-LABEL MEDICATION USE ...................................................................................................................................19 
IF MEDICATIONS ARE NOT WORKING .......................................................................................................................21 
OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC) PAIN RELIEVERS ........................................................................................................23 

A
CETAMINOPHEN SPECIAL COMMENTS ....................................................................................................................26
NON-OPIOID PAIN RELIEVERS (NON-NARCOTIC)......................................................................................................28 

G
ASTROINTESTINAL (GI) PROTECTIVE MEDICATIONS ............................................................................................30
NON-OPIOID ANALGESIC DRUGS & THEIR USES ......................................................................................................32 
OPIOID ANALGESIC PAIN RELIEVERS........................................................................................................................34 
WHAT ARE OPIOIDS?..................................................................................................................................................35
OPIOID DELIVERY.......................................................................................................................................................36 
SHORT-ACTING AND LONG-ACTING OPIOID AGONISTS ............................................................................................36 
ALERT: PROPOXYPHENE (DARVON®, DARVOCET®) – DISCONTINUED FOR SALE IN THE USA............................42 

G
ENERAL OPIOID ADVERSE SIDE EFFECTS...............................................................................................................43
DEFINITION OF TERMS REGARDING OPIOIDS ............................................................................................................46 
THE EVIDENCE FOR OPIOID USE................................................................................................................................50 
KEY STEPS TO USE OPIOIDS SAFELY ........................................................................................................................51 
OPIOIDS & THE GOALS OF PAIN MANAGEMENT .......................................................................................................52 

MONITORING YOUR MEDICATION USE
.........................................................................................................53
OPIOID TREATMENT AGREEMENT.............................................................................................................................54
URINE DRUG TESTING (UDT) / URINE DRUG SCREENING (UDS) ............................................................................55 
ANTI-DEPRESSANTS ....................................................................................................................................................56 
ALERT: MIXING ANTI-MIGRAINE AGENTS & CERTAIN ANTIDEPRESSANTS ............................................................62 

A
NTICONVULSANT (ANTIEPILEPTIC) DRUGS.............................................................................................................64 
SODIUM CHANNEL BLOCKING & ORAL ANTI-ARRHYTHMIC AGENTS ....................................................................66 
TOPICAL PAIN RELIEVERS .........................................................................................................................................67 

C
OMPOUNDED MEDICATIONS ....................................................................................................................................70
SEDATIVES AND ANTI-ANXIETY MEDICATIONS ........................................................................................................72 
MUSCLE RELAXANTS..................................................................................................................................................74 
ANTI-PSYCHOTIC MEDICATIONS ...............................................................................................................................75 
ANTI-HYPERTENSIVE MEDICATIONS.........................................................................................................................75 
BOTULINUM TOXINS ...................................................................................................................................................76 
NMDA INHIBITORS ....................................................................................................................................................78 
ADRENERGIC DRUGS, BISPHOSPHONATES, THALIDOMIDE, & CALCITONIN............................................................79 

A
CTIVATING MEDICATIONS (CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM STIMULANTS)................................................................80 

M
IGRAINE HEADACHE TREATMENT..........................................................................................................................81
HERBAL MEDICINES, SUPPLEMENTS, & VITAMINS...................................................................................................83 
TOBACCO, ALCOHOL, MARIJUANA, AND ILLICIT SUBSTANCES ................................................................................86 
INVASIVE INTERVENTIONS .........................................................................................................................................91

INTRA-ARTICULAR STEROID INJECTIONS .................................................................................................................91 
SPINAL CORD STIMULATION (SCS)..........................................................................................................................91
 IMPLANTED INTRATHECAL DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEMS (PAIN PUMPS) .....................................................................94 

E
PIDURALS, NERVE & FACET BLOCKS, & RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION (RHIZOTOMY) .........................................96
COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM).......................................................................................98 
PASSIVE THERAPIES & PHYSICAL MODALITIES .......................................................................................................99 

H
YPERBARIC OXYGEN..............................................................................................................................................99 
ACUPUNCTURE .........................................................................................................................................................99 
MANIPULATION & MOBILIZATION .........................................................................................................................100
 ELECTRICAL STIMULATION DEVICES (EXTERNAL) .................................................................................................100 
TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS ...................................................................................................................................101 
ACTIVE INTERVENTIONS - MONOTHERAPIES ..........................................................................................................102 
EDUCATION ............................................................................................................................................................102 
EXERCISE (ACTIVE THERAPY)................................................................................................................................102
 TAI CHI ..................................................................................................................................................................103 
YOGA .....................................................................................................................................................................103 
GRADED MOTOR IMAGERY ....................................................................................................................................104
ELECTRONIC PAIN-MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS ........................................................................................................108 
ACTIVE INTERVENTIONS- INTERDISCIPLINARY.......................................................................................................110 

F
UNCTIONAL RESTORATION PROGRAMS & APPROACHES ......................................................................................110 
FINAL COMMENTS ....................................................................................................................................................112 
REFERENCES: LINKS TO CHRONIC PAIN SITES & RESOURCES..............................................................................113


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A monthly downloadable newsletter filled with tips 
and information to help caregivers.

Print your copy at:
 www.partnersagainstpain.com

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More resources to come!  Check back each month! 




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