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Need Help with Pain Management? There's an App for That

  [ 19 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Karen Lee Richards • www.ProHealth.com • September 13, 2015


Need Help with Pain Management? There's an App for That
Do you have trouble remembering when you took your medication last? Would you like to figure out what is triggering your flares? Do you wish there were a way for your doctor to actually see just how much pain and fatigue are limiting your life?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, ProHealth's free Tracker App can help.

Designed to work on any Apple or Android smartphone or tablet, the ProHealth Tracker App is patient-friendly and can be easily personalized to meet your specific pain management needs.

Who Needs ProHealth Tracker?

Anyone who lives with chronic pain or takes care of someone with chronic pain can benefit from the ProHealth Tracker App. If you have fibromyalgia, ME and chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic Lyme disease, lupus, MS, arthritis or any other chronic pain condition, this little app can help you get a better handle on managing your pain. In the case of children or patients who are too sick to record their own pain, caregivers will also find this to be a useful tool.

Whether you're just looking for some help remembering when to take your medication, or you need detailed reports tracking your pain and sleep patterns to give to your doctor, this is the app for you. It can do as much or as little as you want it to.

Benefits of Tracking Your Pain

While we'd all prefer to try to forget our pain whenever possible, there are many benefits to keeping track of it – even for a short period of time. A few of those benefits include:
  • Discovering factors that aggravate your pain intensity or trigger a flare.

  • Monitoring the effectiveness of a new treatment.

  • Figuring out the best times to take your medications.

  • Tracking other symptoms that may be related to your pain level, such as fatigue or depression.

  • Being able to give your doctor visible evidence of how bad your pain is and how it's affecting your life.

  • Helping you determine what time of day is best for you to plan activities.

  • Providing backup documentation of your limitations when applying for disability benefits.

If you're thinking that you already have more on your plate than you can handle, and you don't want to be bothered with keeping track of how you're feeling throughout the day, remember that you don't have to use the app every day for the rest of your life. The purpose of the ProHealth Tracker App is to help you manage your pain. You may just need to use it to remind you when to take your medications. Or perhaps you only want to use it when you're getting ready to try a new treatment so you can see how much the treatment is helping – or not helping. That's the beauty of it. Once you download the app, it's always available, at your disposal, to use in whatever way is most helpful to you.

Easy to Use

Although I can generally find my way around a computer application pretty well, I still often find smartphone apps frustrating and difficult to figure out. There's usually a lot of information packed into a very small screen. But I was impressed with how user-friendly the ProHealth Tracker App is. A few minutes of tapping on the various icons quickly gave me a good feel for most of the app's features.

A Comprehensive Pain Management Tool

The ProHealth Tracker App really is quite a comprehensive tool to help you gain more understanding of and control over your pain. Specific features include:

1. Medications and Supplements Tracker

Have you ever found yourself wondering whether you took your medication or not? You're afraid to take another dose for fear of overdosing, but you don't want to suffer in pain needlessly if you could safely take your medication again.

The My Supplements feature helps you keep track of all of the medications and supplements you take every day along with the dosage for each. With a simple tap of the screen, you can quickly note each time you take a dose so you never again have to wonder when you last took your medication.

2. Medication Reminder

Never forget to take your meds again. The My Alarms feature allows you to set an alarm to alert you when it's time to take your medication. You can set it for one time use or you can choose which days and times you'd like it to remind you on a regular basis.

Note that the alarm is set up as a 24-hour clock. So if you want to set a medication reminder for 1:15 p.m., for example, you will need to set it for 13:15 (13 hours and 15 minutes).

3. Daily Record of Pain, Fatigue and Mood

The How I'm Feeling feature helps you track your pain and fatigue levels as well as your mood throughout the day. You can record how you're feeling as many or as few times each day as you like. You can also decide how much detail you want to record. If you just want to make a quick note of your pain, fatigue and mood levels, you can do that. But if you want to be able to analyze your pain further, you can also record:
  • Pain severity

  • Pain location

  • Type of pain

  • What you were doing when pain began

  • Whether anything helped

  • Whether you used any mobility aids

  • Other symptoms

  • Aggravating factors

  • What activities your pain prevented you from doing

These detailed records can not only help you determine what activities and situations increase your pain, they can help your doctor better understand how significantly pain is affecting your life and your ability to function. Having information like this recorded in your medical file might also be beneficial should you ever have to apply for disability benefits.

The My Daily Records feature provides an excellent summary of your pain records. You can choose to view your summaries by the day, the week, the month, six months or a full year.

4. Flare Tracker

For those times when your pain flares and you don't feel up to recording all the details, you can simply tap the flame icon at the top of the home screen and quickly record your pain level. The Daily Records feature will automatically take note and make a record of your flare.

5. Sleep Records

Sleep is a critical factor in anyone's health, but it is especially important for people living with a chronic illness. ProHealth Tracker makes it easy to keep track of how much or how little you are sleeping. When you're ready to go to sleep, all you have to do is tap the star/moon icon at the top of the home screen. This will bring up a black screen with the message, “Touch Screen to stop sleep Record.” When you wake up, simply tap the screen. The Tracker will automatically record how long you slept. If you wake up several times during the night, as so many of us do, just repeat the process each time.

The My Sleep Records feature offers you the option of seeing your sleep records in the form of a report or a graph. Tracking your sleep patterns can provide valuable information to help your doctor determine the best treatment options for you.

6. Journal

The My Journal feature gives you the opportunity to make more detailed notes about anything you like. You might want to record the weather each day if you feel like the weather affects your pain levels. Or you may want to make note of a particularly stressful event that could have an affect on your health. It's your space to use in any way you want.

7. Reports

The My Reports feature allows you to generate detailed records and graphs from your journal, your sleep records and your daily “How I'm Feeling” records. In addition to viewing your reports, you can save them as a pdf, which you can email to your doctor or print out and take with you to your next doctor visit.

ProHealth's Gift to You

The ProHealth Tracker App was designed and tested by people who truly understand and have experience with chronic pain. We are delighted to be able to offer it to you as a free gift. It is our hope that this app will help you gain a little more understanding and control over your pain.



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