Pattern/Symptom recognition Part II

Pattern/Symptom recognition Part II

Pattern and symptom recognition is complicated and should be broken up into several stages with your patients. 

The next step to symptom recognition as identifying symptom variations.  Most patients will say the symptom/pain just comes and goes.  This is almost never the case, it is typically a result of patients having difficulty seeing and recognizing patterns.  This happens because of our modern lives and how hectic they have become.  There are so many things during our day that we not only want to do, but NEED to do.  Most patients don’t focus on their pain instead they put blinders on - they stop paying attention to their symptom and instead turn their attention on the things they NEED to do or the tasks the need to complete.  By ignoring our body's signs and symptoms we are ignoring our most basic need – the need to take care of ourselves.  So, it is imperative that individuals become more self-aware of the symptom variations throughout the day. 

Identifying to a patient that their symptoms do vary throughout the day now allows us to focus on WHY they vary? What is the patient doing during those painful times? What role are you playing in your pain?

From chronic to acute pain, we play a role in our pain manifestation.  To think that we float through life without having any effect on our sensations, specifically pain, is a faulty thought process.  It is important to identify the role we have on our pain – sometimes this is a harsh reality for the patient, as their direct actions continually cumulate stress on the sensitized tissue.  It is hard for patients to conceptualize that their actions may be the direct cause of their pain.