Proving Chronic Pain
Objective medical tests (blood tests and other lab work; X-rays or other images) can establish that you have a condition that is known to cause chronic pain. Your doctor’s clinical examination also can serve as objective medical evidence of your pain.
Establishing the disabling nature of your pain, however, is more challenging because pain is subjective. No single test can accurately and objectively measure the intensity and severity of a person’s pain. Consequently, insurance companies tend to be highly skeptical of claims of disabling pain.
Proving Your Chronic Pain is Disabling
There are several effective means of documenting the disabling nature of your chronic pain.
Regular medical treatment. A key indicator of the nature of your pain is your medical treatment history. See your treating doctor regularly, and don’t make a habit of missing or rescheduling appointments. Tell your doctor all of your symptoms, to ensure that your medical record accurately reflects your pain, and follow up with your doctor or a specialist, as directed. Finally, keep a calendar dedicated solely to tracking your medical appointments; be sure to note any unscheduled emergency treatment. The paper trail that supports your medical treatment will be strong evidence of the disabling nature of your pain.
Pain medication. Did your treating doctor prescribe pain medication? Your medication regimen is an excellent indicator of your pain. One easy way to track your medication is to save all of your empty prescription bottles. In addition, pay attention to how much over-the-counter pain medication are you taking. When and why are you taking these pain relievers? Keep a written record so you can tell your doctor and your New York disability attorney.
Pain diary. A pain diary can be the most compelling evidence of the disabling nature of your pain. A pain diary can take many forms; any means of regularly recording your pain symptoms will serve this purpose. Use your pain diary to record, for example: