Coming to your appointment prepared will help the doctor to assess your condition more efficiently and effectively. Some things you can do to prepare yourself for your appointment include:
1. Keep a pain journal. Note when your symptoms seem to be worse, what activities exacerbate your pain, and what alleviates your pain.
2. Bring a record of what medications you have tried to alleviate your pain. Make sure to include over the counter medications as well as medications you have been prescribed by other doctors.
3. Bring any previous x-rays, CT scans, and MRI films with you to the doctor. The doctor may request previous records from other doctors you have seen.
4. Bring a list of your current medications. It is important for the doctor to know all of your medications, even those which are not for your pain condition. Also include any over the counter medications, dietary supplements, vitamins, or minerals.
5. Think about how your pain affects your life; does it prevent you from participating in your regular activities? Is there anything you would like to be able to do that your pain currently prevents you from doing?
6. Bring a list of questions you may have for the doctor.
The doctor will complete a history and physical exam. The doctor will need to know what other medical conditions you have (for example; diabetes, hypertension, thyroid problems, etc.). It is also important to note when the pain started. Your healthcare provider will ask about the location of the pain, the severity of the pain, activities which influence your pain, whether the pain is accompanied by weakness, and the type of pain (aching, burning, stabbing, etc.).
Other symptoms the doctor may ask you about which seem related or unrelated to pain but may be a result of your condition may include sleep patterns and emotional status, recent infections, and stomach or bowel symptoms.
After completing the history and physical exam, the healthcare provider may order additional tests such as radiographic images (including x-rays, MRIs, etc.) or blood tests. Chronic pain is a complex process that requires a combination of treatments in order to achieve the best results. A multimodal treatment plan tailored to the patient will be developed that may include medications, possible procedures, assistance with emotional aspect of pain, and physical therapy. Developing a treatment plan which is likely to provide the most benefit given your treatment options and preferences requires a joint effort between you and your healthcare provider. The treatment of chronic pain requires a continuing and active effort from both the individual suffering from the chronic pain and the healthcare team.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
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