Keep a Pain Journal to Manage Chronic Pain

Chronic pain patients can benefit from keeping a journal of their pain. The information you are gathering can help you, and your doctor identify patterns. These patterns can show you what typically triggers your pain, what makes you feel better, and more. It can help you make better decisions throughout the day so that you can better manage your pain.

How to Setup a Pain Journal

When you create your pain journal, you should make it as detailed as you possibly can. Some details to include in your journal are:

  • Rate your Pain – Use a 0-10 system to describe how severe the pain is.
  • Descriptions – Use an adjective to describe the pain like burning, tingling, shooting, sharp, pulsating, or dull.
  • Time – When does the pain occur? Do you experience more pain in the morning or the afternoon? How do you feel at night?
  • Activity – Jot down what you were doing when the pain started. When you exercise or do other activities, write down how you feel afterward.
  • Log Food and Drinks – What did you eat or drink that day? Your diet may be affecting your pain symptoms.
  • External Factors – Think about external factors like the weather or anything else that may have contributed to your pain.
  • How do You Feel? – What is your mental state when you are experiencing pain?


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