The success of any pain treatment prescribed by a doctor is contingent upon the health care provider accurately treating the root cause of your pain. So, you can help your doctor “help you” by being prepared before your first visit.
Because pain symptoms are personal and unique for each individual, it’s important to provide personal experience with suffering in a concise manner so that your doctor can understand you better and prescribe a treatment plan that effectively meets your medical needs.
How do you get the most out of your doctor visit? Create a check-list! Make sure that you are presenting information that is beneficial to your doctor so that you can be on a steady path to recovery. Start by answering the following questions:
- What happened that created your pain?
- Did you have an injury?
- Did you lift a heavy object or twist while reaching for an object?
- Did the pain slowly begin when you purchased a new bed mattress?
- Have you been treated for the pain before?
- Have you seen another doctor?
- Given a diagnosis?
- Undergone any medical treatments for the same issue in the past?
- What type of pain are you experiencing?
- Sharp stabbing pain?
- Throbbing, “swollen,” inflamed tissue?
- Sensitivity to contact or touch?
- Any numbness, tingling, pins and needles?
- What type of pain do you have?
- I’ve had this pain for ________________________________________.
- How frequently do you have the pain and how long does it last?
- What “triggers” the pain (causes a flare up) or what decreases your pain?
- How bad does it hurt? Most doctor’s use a scale of 0-10 to gauge pain
- No pain: 0 (pain-free)
- Manageable Pain: 1-3 (mild pain, barely noticeable; minor pain annoying w/occasional twinges; Noticeable pain that is distracting, yet, you can adapt to it)
- Moderate Pain: 4-6 (Disrupts normal daily living activities)
- Severe Pain: 7-10 (Disabling; debilitating, reduces daily quality of life, cannot live independently).
- How have you treated the pain in the past?
- Walk it off?
- Epsom salt bath?
- Are you experiencing any social or emotional stressors? It is not uncommon for stressors to bring physical pain.
- Financial or job loss?
- Relationship issues?
- Loss of a Child or Spouse?
After you’ve made your doctor appointment, start keeping a journal to monitor your pain to assess any patterns (do you wake up with pain; experience pain off and on throughout the day; is the pain chronic?). You will also want to write down any medications you are taking (or bring the bottles) along with the dose and frequency.
Provide the medications and pain journal to the intake nurse so that she can write it down in your chart. This will speed up the process so that you can ‘get down to business’ when talking with your doctor about your health issues.
If you would like to end the frustration of visiting one doctor after another, call Dr. Kamson today for a consultation at (208) 496–0630. He is an expert at getting to the ‘root of your pain,’ so that your healing journey can begin.