Before Your Appointment
Just like the majority of other medical appointments, you will have only a limited amount of time with your pain doctor, so making sure you know what you want to get through with them is crucial. If it is your first pain management appointment then this time will be approximately 30-40 minutes, however each pain clinic is different and therefore can be longer or shorter depending.
Your doctor will most likely want to discuss certain topics with you, but you should remember that your pain appointment is essentially about you. You may also have to go through an examination if this is your first appointment and occasionally after the first appointment, which will probably be very uncomfortable or even painful but it will help the Doctor in his diagnosis whether it is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or another chronic pain condition.
Helpful Tips Before Your Appointment
- Print out the address/map page for the PPW location you are visiting. This way, you have clear directions on how to find our offices.
- If you take any medications, bring a list of medications so you can help your provider understand your patient history.
- If you have any films, bring them along. It is always a good idea to bring any X-Ray or MRI images to your first appointment.
- Please bring a photo ID, your Insurance Card and co-pay.
- Start a daily journal and jot down notes about your pain symptoms and triggers and bring it with you to help your doctor better understand your situation.
What Questions Should I Be Asking?
The easiest way to have a painless discussion about pain with your PPW provider starts by asking the right questions. Here’s a suggested checklist you may wish to adapt to your personal situation:
- What cause(s) my pain?
- Can my pain be cured or managed?
- Is it normal to suffer this type of pain with this condition?
- Are there common triggers for this type of pain? Should I avoid noise, heat, certain foods, or other situations?
- Why does my pain seem worse at certain times of the day or during certain weather conditions?
- How can a pain specialist help me and my condition?
- What kinds of pain treatments are available and appropriate for me? What are the risks and side effects of each?
- What about alternative treatments? Are there homeopathic or complementary treatments?
- Will counseling or exercise help alleviate my stress and pain? Should I see a wellness coach or work with a physical therapist?
- What resources are available to help me learn more about my type of pain and how to manage it?