As spine surgeons in Seattle we see a lot of people suffering from back pain and problems each day. They want to know what we can do to help them. We have a lot of options available from minimally invasive spine surgery to pain medication to physical therapy and more, but we can’t do it alone. You also have responsibilities throughout the back pain treatment process. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
The Responsibility to Communicate the Problem
Where do you feel pain? Is the pain sharp or dull? Does your discomfort increase after exercise or in the morning? We need to know how you feel in order to create a treatment plan. When you come in for your first (or a subsequent) appointment explain what you are feeling. Don’t leave any details out and strive your best to truthfully answer any questions we may ask.
The Responsibility to Follow Instructions
We only see our patients for a few minutes or hours at a time; most of your time will be out of our offices and on your own. For your back or sciatica pain treatment to be effective you need to carefully follow all instructions. For example we may ask you to take a particular medication three times a day. Don’t skip dosages and follow the instructions carefully. Likewise it is important to follow pre and post-surgery instructions. We know how to treat your pain; listen to us and take our advice.
The Responsibility to Choose Your Treatment Path
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one simple solution that would solve every back problem? This isn’t the case. As we examine your condition we may find that multiple treatment options will provide relief. We will explain your options, but in the end it is you that must make the final decision. Talk with your doctor and weigh your options. We want to help you choose the back pain relief option that is right for you.
The Responsibility to Help Your Body Heal
Healing after surgery takes time, but there are ways that you can help your body to heal. Focus on your health. Stop smoking if you can. Smoking can interfere with your body’s ability to create new blood vessels and heal after surgery. We have noticed that smoking decreasing the success of some back pain surgeries including lumbar facet fusion. You should also eat healthy meals and follow your doctor’s instructions for movement and exercise.
The Responsibility to Speak Up
We are here to help you. We need to know if you have any questions. Throughout your treatment don’t be afraid to speak up.