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Mobility with Less Pain: Help Your Doctor Help You

March 01, 2011

Chronic pain shouldn't keep you from continued mobility. Partner with your doctor in pain management and stay comfortably independent.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans living with the kind of chronic pain that interferes with your independent mobility, you probably want nothing more than to have the pain go away. In many instances, and with your doctor's medical recommendation, a power wheelchair may offer some relief. However, in order for your doctor to help you, you need to first help your doctor.

Talk to your doctor about your mobility issuesPrepare for the visit

It's quite easy to help your doctor develop an effective pain management plan for you. One place to start is by making a list which includes:

  • The exact times when you experience discomfort Help Your Doctor
  • The precise physical location of the pain
  • The severity of each episode
  • Any actions that seem to make the pain worse, or anything you've tried to relieve your pain and what the results were

Bring this information along with you to your next appointment so your doctor can make an individualized assessment of your condition so your quality of life may be improved.

Be aware that some conditions, such as arthritis, edema, nerve disorders and other causes of persistent pain, often gravely restrict freedom of movement and may require the use of a power wheelchair for proper mobility assistance. Your doctor will need to know all the particulars of your situation before he/she can provide effective treatment and, perhaps, prescribe a Medicare-covered power chair.

Detail how your pain affects your mobility

If you struggle with daily functioning due to pain, detail for your doctor exactly how your pain interferes with your ability to perform mobility-related activities, such as getting from room to room in your home and accomplishing routine self-care.

You might simply state, "Standing in the shower is impossible after just a few moments before the pain in my knees becomes unbearable", or "I haven’t used my second-floor bedroom in months because it hurts too much to take the stairs".

In addition to pain medication, your doctor might recommend a shower seat or bath lift for more comfortable bathing, or a stair lift to make it easier for you to access the stairs within your home. Again, the more of an active role you take in communicating with your doctor, the more control you can gain over chronic pain.

What your doctor can do for you

Perhaps you are only just now considering the pain-reducing benefits a power wheelchair, electric scooter or supportive lifting solution might provide you. Maybe it’s time to schedule a face-to-face mobility examination with your doctor. Your physician will then be able to determine your need for a power operated vehicle, such as a power wheelchair, so that you may continue doing many of the things you love without being in constant pain or limited by immobility.

Whether your doctor prescribes pain medication, light exercise, or essential assistive equipment, remember this: Your doctor is your partner in health. Together, you can accomplish what it takes to keep pain from getting in the way of enjoying more of your life.

For more information on managing persistent pain, visit The American Chronic Pain Association

This article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice.

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