We often get asked if someone injured in a car accident or slip and fall accident should keep a “pain diary”. In other words, should they keep a written record of their injury symptoms or visits to medical treatment providers. The short answer is ‘no’.
The reason to not keep a pain diary is that people are very conscientious and good at keeping the diary over the first little while. However, our experience is that people naturally tend to get tired of keeping detailed notes and over time the diary becomes less and less detailed. This is so, even if the client continues to have significant ongoing symptoms and goes for treatment regularly. The diary may appear on its’ face to show you getting better (because of fewer entries), but the reality may be that you just got tired of or forgot to make entries.
A better way to keep track of your symptoms is to ‘educate’ your treatment providers each time you get treated. Be prepared to give your treatment providers with a detailed list of the day to day activities that you are now having difficulty with – hopefully the treatment provider will be taking notes of your symptoms. In addition to helping your treatment providers keep a record of your symptoms, you’ll also be assisting your treatment providers in ensuring appropriate treatment for your specific injuries.