Using the PQRST to Accurately Describe Pain to Your Doctor [Video]

By Roger Foisy on November 13th, 2013

It is very important to effectively describe the pain you feel to your doctor. Without an accurate description, reporting that you are experiencing “pain” will not help the doctor assess your condition.

Furthermore, a vague description does not properly convey how your pain is affecting your ability to function and work. The information you provide to your doctors is used to create reports for the insurance companies. These reports give credibility to your claims. This is why it is essential to fully explain the impact of your injuries, the extent of your pain, and how your daily function has been affected.

You should use the PQRST Method as a tool to help you accurately describe your pain to healthcare practitioners.

PQRST Method

  • P: Provoked – What causes or increases the pain?
  • Q: Quality – Is it throbbing, dull, burning, or stabbing?
  • R: Region – Where on your body does the pain occur and originate from?
  • S: Severity – Rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10.
  • T: Time – When did the pain start and how long does it last?

The most important thing is to tell your doctor what your pain prevents you from doing. Describe your injury, condition, pain, and symptoms as precisely as possible when filing a claim for either accident benefits (for example, a motor vehicle accident claim) or disability benefits.

The more detailed and accurate your description of your condition is, the easier it will be for you to receive the compensation that you need.


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>> Roger R. Foisy is an experienced Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, do not hesitate to contact us for immediate support and a free consultation.

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