Describing your pain: Oklahoma disability attorney explains how

As an experienced Oklahoma disability attorney, I understand how disabling pain can be. Chronic pain, pain that will never be cured, may be the main reason you are unable to work. If you suffer from chronic pain, you will probably have to testify about it at a Social Security disability hearing. Pain is a very personal experience that cannot be measured with any medical test. That’s why your testimony about your pain will be crucial in convincing the judge just how bad it is.

One way to convince the administrative law judge that you suffer from persistent and intense pain is to describe it vividly.

Words for describing pain

Here is a list of 30 vivid words that can be used to describe pain. Of course, not all of these will provide an accurate picture of what you experience. But you may want to look through the list and make a note of the words that seem to best describe your pain.

Aching Pounding
Annoying Pricking
Blinding Pulsing
Burning Searing
Cramping Sharp
Crushing Shooting
Cutting Sickening
Drilling Splitting
Dull Squeezing
Exhausting Stabbing
Flashing Stinging
Heavy Tender
Nauseating Throbbing
Piercing Tingling
Pinching Wrenching

How bad is your pain?

A common technique for describing the severity of pain is to rate it on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain imaginable. Be careful to avoid exaggeration when using this technique. If you tell the judge that your pain is always a 9 or a 10, the judge will wonder how you managed to get to the hearing and sit through it.

Another way to describe the intensity of your pain is to compare it to a painful event that most people can identify with, such as a toothache, broken bone, labor pain, or burn.

What makes your pain better or worse?

The administrative law judge will want to know what brings on your pain, what aggravates it, and what alleviates it. For example, does moving in a certain way, or heat or cold aggravate your pain? Does lying or sitting in a certain way help? Do any medications or other treatments provide you with relief? Is your pain worse in the morning when you first get out of bed or later in the day?

Help available from an Oklahoma City disability attorney

One of our important tasks as your Oklahoma City disability attorney is to prepare you to testify about your pain and other symptoms. If we represent you, we will meet with you before your hearing to review your testimony. We will offer you additional guidance on how to describe your pain and other symptoms so that the administrative law judge will understand why you cannot work.

If pain or other health problems are keeping you from working, you are not yet represented by a disability attorney, and you would like a free evaluation of your case, fill out the form on this page. Or phone or email us. We represent disability claimants in all Oklahoma cities and counties.

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