Musculoskeletal pain, such as back pain, can result from a variety of conditions, from chronic to acute. Numerous patients suffer from it, making it one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. If you suffer from chronic pain, you need the help of a medical provider for an effective treatment plan.
Here is a guide for when you should see a pain doctor:
Take Note of Your Symptoms
Take note of your symptoms and be as detailed as possible. This will help your doctor diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
Write down the following, so you don’t forget:
- Where exactly is the pain?
- When did it begin?
- What activities are painful and uncomfortable?
- What makes it worse?
- What makes it better?
Also, note down if you experience other symptoms that are not directly related to pain but could be important in diagnosing the underlying cause, such as fatigue, nausea, or dizziness.
Bring Relevant Medical Records
Bring any relevant medical reports or imaging studies you may have to your appointment. Having this information will help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Aside from your medical records, bring a list of your medications. Have you had surgery or another condition that could be causing your back pain? If so, mention it to your doctor.
Be Prepared to Answer and Ask Questions
Your doctor will ask questions to understand what is causing your back pain. This will help them form an accurate diagnosis.
Be prepared to answer questions about the following:
- Your medical history
- Your lifestyle habits
- Your diet and physical activities
- Any current medications you may be taking
You should also prepare your questions for your pain doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about possible treatments and what risks are associated with them.
Be Open and Honest with Your Doctor
You have to be honest and open with your doctor. They want to help you get relief from pain, more so if it is severe. So, be transparent, detailed, and truthful about all of the information you provide. Some patients feel shy or embarrassed about talking about certain topics, such as sexual activity. However, it is important to be open with your doctor even if you feel uncomfortable. Honest and open communication will help your doctor give you the care you deserve.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Wear clothing that allows the doctor to assess your body easily. Loose-fitting and comfortable clothes are ideal for physical examinations. During your physical exam, your doctor might ask you to move in certain ways to understand your pain. Make sure your clothing does not restrict any movement and that you can move freely.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
Once you have a diagnosis and course of treatment, follow the treatment plan as directed by your doctor. This includes taking any medications prescribed and doing physical therapy. If you are unclear about something, ask your pain doctor. They can help you better understand the treatment plan and any prescribed medications.
Get to Your Appointment on Time
Get to your doctor’s office on time for your appointment. Rushing to an appointment is never a good idea as it can lead to forgotten information or missed questions. Try to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This will give you some time to relax and prepare for the visit. You will also have enough time to fill out any paperwork or review your medical records. Arriving late can take away your chances of having a worthwhile and relaxed visit.
When to See a Pain Doctor
Most pain can be managed at home with rest, ice, heat therapy, and over-the-counter medications. However, if your pain persists or worsens over time, it is time to visit a pain doctor.
You should also see a pain doctor if:
- The pain is severe and does not go away even after home care
- You have trouble walking, standing up straight, or sitting for a prolonged period
- You experience numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, or feet
- You are experiencing any systemic symptoms such as fever, chills, or nausea
- You are losing control of your bladder or bowels
These symptoms might indicate that your pain is more than just a muscle strain and requires medical attention.
Pain Doctor Near You in Rochester Hills, Lapeer, & Bad Axe, MI
Visiting a pain doctor for musculoskeletal pain is crucial for managing your condition. Be prepared, wear appropriate clothing, and follow your treatment plan as prescribed. Don’t forget to ask questions and be honest with your doctor to ensure you get the care you need. Your pain doctor is here to help you, so try to get the most out of your appointments.
Looking for a trusted and experienced pain doctor near you in Michigan? You can rely on Ahlgren Spine’s Dr. Bradley Ahlgren for comprehensive and personalized care. Dr. Ahlgren is board-certified and fellowship-trained in orthopedic spine surgery and can help you achieve pain relief. Call our helpful staff at (248) 215-8080 for an appointment. You can also submit an online appointment request form to book a visit for back pain relief in Rochester Hills.
We look forward to helping you live free from pain!