When you’re visiting your pain management physician for the first time, what questions can you expect to hear? Will you have the answers? Perhaps, but it might be best prior to your visit to jot as many feelings down as you can regarding your pain symptoms. It’s always important to be thorough in your answers and having some notes in front of you with the doctor can help. To gain a better understanding of the pain, expect some of the following questions:
Location: Yes, where it hurts, but also does it hurt anywhere else? Which leads to the next question.
Does the Pain Radiate: Does the pain move anywhere from the initial spot? Does it “radiate” over a section of your body? Kidney stone pain, for example, can begin in the back, but the pain can radiate towards the side and front of the torso making it difficult to figure out exactly where the pain is coming from.
Quality of Pain: This is where you describe the type of pain you’re feeling. Is it a dull ache, sharp, or a shooting pain? This descriptor helps to identify the type of pain and how to treat it.
Severity of the Pain: On a scale of zero to ten, with ten being the most severe, be ready to describe your level of pain currently, at a certain time of day, when moving, etc.
Aggravating and Relieving Factors: What makes it hurt more and what helps to alleviate the pain most? Do you experience certain relief during a particular exercise, hot bath, or coping mindset?
The Time of Pain: How long does it last? Do you experience more pain at a particular time of day or night? Does it come and go or is it constant?
The Pain’s Impact: How does your pain impact your quality of life? Does it affect your sleep, appetite, or any physical activities? Does it prevent you from having healthy relationships with others? Does it impede your ability to focus and concentrate?
Understand your Pain for a Better Treatment Plan
The questions above are merely a beginning point for you and your doctor in understanding your pain. Other questions may include factors such as burning, numbness or tingling sensations. However, it’s important to describe your pain in multiple ways to help your doctor visualize your pain. By providing as much detailed information about it as possible can ultimately provide you with the best treatment plan.
If you have questions regarding your pain or would like to make an appointment for a new patient consultation at Tri-County Pain Consultants, please call (800) 319-3118. You will need to know your current health insurance information as well as the name of your primary care or family physician. You may need a referral from your physician if your insurance requires one.