Your pain doctor needs to know precisely what you are experiencing. Otherwise, it is easy for them to downplay your pain or dismiss it as exaggerating.
When describing your pain, use a pain scale or visual to help you communicate the severity of the symptoms. Include all locations, types of sensations, and how long the pain lasts.
What’s the source of my pain?
Pain is a complex experience that differs significantly from person to person. It can feel like prickling, tingling, aching, burning, or shooting sensation. It can be brought on by certain activities or triggered by emotional stressors. It can also be in locations other than the site of injury or illness, known as referred pain.
Understanding the source of your pain is an integral part of a diagnosis and treatment plan. To ascertain the kind and degree of your pain and the factors that exacerbate or alleviate it, your doctor may pose several questions to you. This will help your pain doctor Jacksonville FL, develop a customized treatment plan. It will also allow them to track your progress. This will help you set realistic expectations and ensure you and your doctor work towards the same goal.
How does it affect my life?
For decades, doctors have asked patients, “Where does it hurt?” It’s a simple question but an important one. It gives physicians a more comprehensive understanding of your pain and how it may affect other areas of your life, from physical fitness to emotional stability.
Asking this question also helps you create a personalized treatment plan that includes non-medical options like lifestyle changes, exercises, hot baths, and coping techniques. You and your doctor must share the same treatment goals. Regularly assessing progress helps determine if the plan is effective. Be sure to be as descriptive as possible, especially in describing your pain’s frequency, duration, and intensity. Keeping a pain journal can help you be more detailed and recall your pain patterns better.
What are my goals?
You may be tempted to write down a few New Year’s resolutions, but if you want to set rock-solid goals that you have a real shot at hitting—not to mention being able to cross off the list when they’re complete—you’ll need to dig deeper.
A pain management doctor is one of the best options for treating chronic pain, especially if other treatments have failed. Your pain doctor should be able to offer you a wide range of conservative treatment options like medication, spinal cord stimulation, physical therapy, and osteopathic manipulative treatment.
Be sure to bring a pain journal with you to your appointment so you can accurately describe how the pain is manifesting in your body. This will help your doctor find the best treatment for you.
What are my options?
There are a variety of treatments that can be used to manage pain. Each treatment has advantages and disadvantages, so discussing your options with your doctor is essential.
Providing your physician with a detailed account of your symptoms is the best way to help them develop a successful treatment plan for you. This can include a description of your pain level (on a scale of 1-10, with ten being the most severe) at any given time and whether it is aggravated or relieved by certain activities or medications.
Regularly assessing your progress is also essential, as this can help determine if your treatment is working and make necessary adjustments. This can be done through various methods, including using a pain diary, discussing how your life has changed since starting treatment and evaluating functional outcomes.
What are my risks?
When considering treatment options, asking your pain management doctor about the risks of each approach is essential. While techniques like acupuncture and TENS may help many people, they have drawbacks. You can better understand the possible consequences of these side effects on your general health and well-being by speaking with your pain specialist.
For example, long-term opioid use carries a significant risk of dependency and addiction. A more comprehensive picture of your success can be obtained by routinely reevaluating lifestyle modifications like food and exercise, which can also be used to manage pain.
Periodically evaluating your pain can also reveal whether your current treatments are working and if they need to be modified or replaced.