Pain Relief vs. Function/ADL


Your doctor may often ask about changes in your function along with changes in your pain scores throughout your treatment.

They may ask you questions in regards to your activities of daily living (ADL). Activities of daily living is a term used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual's place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both.

Patients often report no improvement in pain scores, but when questioned further they will show a significant improvement in function due to the treatments they received. As a patient, it is important to evaluate yourself for improvement in function and not just improvement in pain.

Increased function can be a goal to focus on when deciding on treatment options to improve your overall quality of life. Having goals relating to increase in function can create more structure to one’s management and justification for use of medications and treatments. Goals that you set should be simple and reasonable, such as being able to complete a favorite hike, being able to take one’s grandchildren fishing, etc.