What is a Chronic Pain Tracker? Why Use One?

Do you have chronic pain like me?  Are you looking for ways to manage your pain?  Then a pain tracker app might be helpful.  What is a Chronic Pain Tracker?  Read more to find out.  It is my hope that one of these suggestions will help you to manage your pain.

What is a Chronic Pain Tracker?
Andrew_Poynton/Pixabay

Introduction

I live with chronic pain, which means everyday I have pain.  Some days are better than others.  Those of you with chronic pain know exactly what I am talking about.  

I still search for relief from my pain, but in the meantime I use all sorts of tools to manage my pain.  That’s why I have been checking out pain tracking apps.  These apps aren’t a remedy.  But through using them, you should be able to track flare ups, activities and other factors to have more good days than bad days.

What Are They?

These tracking apps are a tool to keep a diary of your pain.  Most of them work for iPhone and Android.  They provide different screens to track your pain levels and other factors that might affect your pain.  

Why Would You Want One? 

Why would you want to track your pain?  Apparently the science wisdom states that knowing what activities and other occurrences helps to anticipate what we can do to manage our pain.  

They can also be used to provide information to your care provider.  Quantifying our pain is always a challenge.  Furthermore, I get the feeling that I am taking control of my life by using a pain tracker.  I am not just accepting my fate, but doing something about it.  

Will They Help With My Pain?

From the trackers I have reviewed, I find they are made for almost every type of pain that we humans experience.  I imagine that these apps are more for people suffering from chronic pain, but I think those with acute pain might benefit too.  After all, if these apps help us manage our pain, I wouldn’t think it matters if the pain is acute or chronic.

The Apps

There are at least 20 apps that I am aware of.  I researched ones that were easy to access.  Which I think should be one of the most important criteria.  At this time, I wanted to include only free apps.  So I chose three that fit that criteria; easy to access and free.  Here they are.

AppWhat I Like My Ranking Based on User Experience
GeoPainExtensive Functions1
PainScaleEasy to Use2
SympleJust the Basics3

GeoPain

I am including this app mainly because the CEO was willing to email me about it!  How often do you get to talk to the top banana?  I couldn’t find it in the app store, because as he reported to me, they are coming out with version 2.0 on April 1, 2021.  (Just a few days away as of this writing.) Update on release; Android will be available on April 1, 2021, with expected Apple release on April 9, 2021.

So right now, it is unavailable.  But I highly recommend you look for it on April 1.  I was provided with a test version (1.9.0) so I could see how I liked it.  And it has many extensive features.  These include New Entry, Review, and Treatments.  Under those categories there are several  options to journal your pain.

Within the entry option, you have several choices to chronicle factors affecting you.  The major choices are Pain, Signs, Function and Diary.  In the pain screen you can highlight your pain areas with a lifelike model. Signs gives you choices of triggers and symptoms. This is a helpful tool, because it provides insight into factors that we may not be aware of.

The highlight of this app is that it coordinates with health care providers and research.  Therefore, I think it strives to be very science based.  In fact their motto is “Bringing Precision to Pain Care”. And to apply that science to help us with our pain.  If you want more information go to the website here.

Pain Scale

This app was easy to download and to sign up.  It has extensive options available including short videos on stretches (made specifically for my pain issue), learning about pain with several sub categories, personal insights, and a journaling option.  

You can connect a Fitbit device or Apple Health Kit to this app.  Once you begin entering your information, the app creates graphs to show details under the Insights page.

I really like the “Recommended for You” section at the start.  Several of the yoga stretches are ones I already practice, so that was helpful and encouraging.  The additional sections are Learn, Insights, and Journal.  

Under Insights, you enter activity levels, sleep quality, types of pain, and other applicable information.  The journal is a calendar format that is an open entry, or where you can enter your pain information and food information.  

You can check out their website here.

Symple

Free to start, but with very few features.  Upgrade costs $8.99 for lifetime use?  I can’t be sure.  I couldn’t find my particular location of pain on the body from their list, nor could I enter my diagnosis.  So I can’t really speak to how helpful it is.  It does have options for symptoms, factors that affect your pain, reminders, and journal.  

There is a section to include photos, which would be helpful to show to your doctor.  Especially if you have to interact remotely.  It appears that you can sync with Apple Health, if you use that application on your iPhone.  

Since I did not want to pay the cost of the app at this time, I can’t speak to the additional features.  The journal feature is available only with the upgrade.  Under symptoms, there is an achieve your best section, but again, only available through the upgrade.

They were rated Best Healthy Lifestyle app in 2019 by Healthline.

My experience is that you don’t get much for the free version.  At least not as much as in the other two apps I tried.  But, see for yourself by checking out the website.

Don’t forget that using these apps requires some time and regular discipline for them to be useful.   Otherwise, you won’t see the benefits.  

Other Apps I Researched a Bit

I set out to try the Catch My Pain app, but after several attempts to sign up, I kept receiving the error message that their server was down.  I tried four different days, which I felt was plenty of time for them to have it fixed.  So, I regret that I can’t include this app in my review.  Perhaps it’s not available any more.

Care Clinic appears to have a 3 day trial, then a monthly fee of $9.99 or yearly of $59.99.  I may review this at a later date, but was put off by the hidden cost.  It is my feeling that should be stated up front.  

I couldn’t locate the WebMD Pain Coach app which I found listed in another article.  That’s too bad because I would think it had some science behind it.  

Conclusion

I will keep testing these three apps out to find the one that best helps me manage my pain.  I would love it if you comment about how you are helped by using a pain tracker.  Or comment if you have used a different one.  I would like to investigate other trackers.

Your  comments and questions will help us all as we seek to manage our pain better.  

What is a Chronic Pain Tracker?
LuciGood/Pixabay

I review products every week in search of natural pain remedies. Here’s a link to a product I use almost everyday. Percussion Action Handheld Massager by HoMedics.

Disclaimer

Sometimes I have links to products where I receive a small fee if you purchase. I have no such links in this post.

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4 thoughts on “What is a Chronic Pain Tracker? Why Use One?”

  1. Thank you,

    You just have provided a valuable product to your readers, I have lived with chronic pain my entire life. This sure beats managing my pain by keeping a journal, but that was the only option I had at that time. I am really impressed with this information, I can’t find the words to express how this article has inspired me.

    Take care
    Jeff

    Reply
    • Thank you Jeff! I am sorry to hear that you have had chronic pain your whole life. If you choose to use one of these tools, I will be interested to hear more about it. GeoPain actually shares general data in hopes of helping those of us who suffer. I think I’m going to try it out exclusively. Barbara

      Reply
    • Thanks Barbara. I am sorry to hear you have chronic pain. Yes, a tracker may help you to recognize what causes you to have bad days. It takes some discipline, but I think the payoff is worth it.
      Barbara

      Reply

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