A Pain Doctor’s Five Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Appointment

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Pain from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Back pain. Pain resulting from a car accident or sports injury. About 100 million Americans suffer chronic pain. You’re looking for relief. Interventional Pain Doctors provide successful treatments and approaches to help relieve your pain and increase your mobility and quality of life.

Have you ever left a doctor’s appointment and forgot to ask an important question, mention another symptom, report a treatment you underwent or a medication you’re taking? To get the most out of your time with your doctor, arm yourself with a strategic plan. Following are five helpful tips for productive appointments with your Interventional Pain Doctor:

  1. Be specific in how the pain affects your daily functioning

It’s essential before going to any doctor’s appointment, especially your pain doctor’s appointment, to be prepared. Use a notepad to write down a list of your concerns and how the pain is affecting you before the actual visit. Place it in the car, purse, or wallet or better yet, put it in the notes section of your cellphone so you don’t walk out of your place without it.

Following are some starter questions to ask yourself before the appointment so that you can take detailed notes on how the pain affects you and communicate the information to your pain doctor:

How does the pain affect your ability to walk, bend over, sit down and stand up, turn your head, kneel, and lift and rotate your arms? Where does it hurt when you make these movements, and what kind of pain is it: a burning sensation, an ache, or a throbbing? What daily activities and chores do you have trouble doing? How does the pain affect your eating, bathing, dressing, driving, working, or playing with children? How is the pain affecting your sleep? Can you think clearly? Is your energy level normal? Have there been changes in your mood and how you’re communicating with others? Are you feeling depressed or anxious? When has the pain prevented you from doing something you want to do?  Does anything help relieve the pain?

  1. Review and list all your medications and supplements

Make a list of all of your prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins and supplements, homeopathic, ointments, drops, and herbs.  Include the dosages and who prescribed them. Please remember to note down the strength of any medication you are taking and how you are taking them (in tablet form, for example) and how often (every 8 hours, for example).  Include any drug allergies.

You need to tell your pain doctor everything that you’re taking to ensure you get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

  1. Bring along a summary of your medical information

If you have been seeing your primary care doctor or other specialists for your problem or symptoms you’ve been having, then, it’s a great idea to bring along a summary of your medical information from them.  This summary can include MRIs, tests, scans, treatments, x-rays, etc. done previously.  Tell the doctor all that has gone one regarding your pain and symptoms.  Even if you’re not certain whether to mention something or not, mention it as it might be of help to the pain doctor.  

   4. Take notes and ask questions during your visit

Take your notepad to the appointment, and write everything the pain doctor is saying. Jot down any new concept or treatments discussed along with your questions and concerns. Sometimes medical appointments can feel overwhelming, making it hard to remember key details later.

If you don’t understand something, ask the doctor to explain the concept further. Repeat what you heard to make sure that you heard the information correctly.

5. Have a clear goal

Be clear, with yourself and with your pain doctor, about your goals. For example, you may want to run a 5K again, go back to work, or play catch with your kids. Whatever your goals are, that is where you want to keep the focus when meeting with your doctor. Sure, you may want to be pain-free so you can do whatever you want, but keeping your goals more clear, practical and tangible will move things along in a more positive manner.

For compassionate treatment for your chronic pain, call Interventional Pain Doctors or book an appointment through our online portal today.