Tips for Visiting a
Pain Management Doctor
How to get the most from your appointment
Most pain management physicians will have you fill out an extensive questionnaire prior to your initial consultation. Please fill this out before arriving at the office. Complete it accurately and honestly. It will ask you to detail the location of your pain, the nature, the character, the severity, and the extent. It will ask you to rate your pain on a visual analog scale of 1 to 10. There will be a body pain map where you can draw the areas of your pain. There will be questions about your level of physical activity including your job and your ability to perform what are called activities of daily living. Fill out the questionnaire as completely as possible. You may also fill out an opiate risk assessment questionnaire, which helps to determine the likelihood that you may abuse or become addicted to pain medications.
Prepare for your appointment
Think about your questions for your pain management physician prior to the appointment and write them down. Take these with you and you will have the highest likelihood of having these questions answered without forgetting important issues. There is no greater frustration than to end your appointment and think of the most important issues only after the physician has left the examination room.
If tests are ordered by your physician complete them as soon as possible. Your physician will be encouraged if he knows you are actively engaged in the process of restoring your health. Diagnostic testing may be ordered to help further identify the cause of your pain. These oftentimes include an MRI scan, CT scan, nerve conduction studies, or laboratory evaluations including: blood count differential, measures of inflammation such as sedimentation rate, thyroid function testing, hormonal testing including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels, vitamin D, vitamin B levels to help the physician understand any underlying medical conditions, metabolic profile, liver and renal function testing. Genetic testing may also be undertaken in order to determine whether the medication prescribed for you is appropriate or not. Psychological testing might be requested to determine if your pain condition is complicated by any of the common conditions that accompany chronic pain including anxiety, depression, or sleep disturbance. You will be required, in many instances, to undergo urine drug testing or other laboratory testing. This is for your safety and diagnosis of your pain condition.