Describing interstitial cystitis (IC) pain can be difficult. Some people find it challenging to talk about IC pain, to find just the right words to describe what their pain feels like, to remember when IC pain was at its worst, or when they last felt their best. However, your healthcare provider needs detailed information about your IC pain to plot out its causes and triggers and build a treatment plan. Keeping an IC pain diary can help you keep track of your pain, enhance communication with your healthcare providers, and document progress.

To get started, simply download a free pain diary from the internet or create your own. Links to four examples of pain diaries can be found below:

Once you have your pain diary, start to record the following:

  • where in your body you feel pain
  • when the pain occurs (morning/evening/constant)
  • the intensity of the pain
  • the frequency of episodes
  • how long each pain episode lasts
  • what activities or times of day are associated with the pain (what activities make it worse or better/when it flares or lessens)
  • which pain medications you’re taking (and how frequently)
  • whether you get pain relief from a medication (and for how long)

Consistency is the key. If you make notes in your diary on a regular basis (daily or several times a week), you’ll have a complete picture of your pain experience and patterns will emerge.

Revised Thursday, April 30th, 2015