Dealing with acute or chronic pain can put the rest of your life on hold. Approximately 25% of Americans around the country have suffered from pain lasting more than 24 hours, and many millions more experience acute pain at some point in their lives. Talking with a pain management doctor can help you ease, if not eliminate, your symptoms and help you get your life back on track. Starting the conversation can be tough, however, so we’ve put together a quick guide on questions to ask your doctor — or yourself — during that first visit.
- What kind of pain am I experiencing?
Take the time to reflect on this question yourself before you meet with a pain management specialist. Where is the pain located? Is it constant, or does it come and go? Try to be specific in the sensations you experience: tingling, aching, burning, throbbing, etc. The more you can describe, the better your family doctor might be able to lead you to a solution.
- Is there anything that might be causing my pain?
You may already suspect a cause behind your pain if you’ve suffered an injury or accident. However, multiple other factors could also be at play, including certain medications and conditions. Be sure to review your medical history in full with your pain management doctor, including any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking.
- What methods can be used to help manage or treat my pain?
Since every kind of pain is unique, so will every method of treatment. Your pain management doctor may prescribe medications or physical therapy treatments, or refer you to another kind of specialist altogether. The important thing is to go over all of your options and understand the best course of action for you.
Talking openly about pain is never easy, but it is important if you want to get the help you need. Some pains may come and go, while others last a lifetime. But no matter its cause, don’t let pain rule your life. Find out what you can do to manage and treat your pain; talk to a doctor today.