6 Letters to Help Your Doctor Better Diagnose Your Pain

by Hayzell

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I like to come prepared to a doctor’s appointment to make the process easier and better for both me and my doctor.

To make sure I don’t miss any crucial information that might help my doctor to diagnose my pain, I like to use this memory aid: L-O-C-A-T-E.

L is for location of the pain.

O is for other symptoms like weakness or lack of sleep.

C is for the character of the pain. Describe if it’s sharp, burning, tingling, etc.

A is for what aggravates (worsens) or alleviates (reduces) the pain.

T is for the timing. How long does the pain lasts, is a constant or occasional?

E is for the environment. Where does the pain occur? Is it while working, at home or while doing a particular activity?

If pain is your main concern, remember to mention it early during your visit. I’ve written before about research that suggests doctors spend less time on treating pain if patients mention it later during a visit.


  • (2008). Covering Pain and Its Management. American Pain Foundation. 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

phylor August 9, 2010 at 4:32 am

LOCATE is a fantastic way to communicate the pain you are feeling. Thanx for sharing this. PS: I like that you have spell check for your comment section: I would love to see that with other blogs, including mine :)

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