Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 10, 2018
We’ve always said that your spine pain consultation needs to be a two-way conversation, and we’ve already presented you with a number of different questions that you should ask your doctor to best treat your pain problem. But what kind of questions should you expect from your doctor? We share five questions you’ll probably hear from your spine specialist during your initial consultation, and we explain why they will ask these questions.
When Did Your Pain Start?
This is one of the first questions you’ll hear in the doctor’s office, and it helps give your doctor a baseline for why your spine pain started. Was there an acute moment of pain, or was this a progressive pain condition? If the answer to the question is obvious, like you were in a car accident or a sports injury and you noted that when you made the appointment, the doctor may ask a version of this question that’s more pointed at what forces you felt at the moment of injury. For example, did your head snap back during the accident, or were you twisting when you got tackled?
Where Is Your Pain?
Your doctor may then ask you to pinpoint exactly where pain is housed. This will give them an idea if you might be dealing with a muscle issue, a pinched nerve or a disc issue. It also gives them an area to target if they want to conduct imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI.
What Makes Pain Better? What Makes Pain Worse?
These questions go hand in hand, but your responses give a lot of helpful information to your doctor. Your doctor wants to know if laying down makes pain decrease, or if pain is worse in the morning. All these answers help doctors determine the root cause of your pain, and whether things like inflammation or nerve entrapment is leading to the onset of your pain. These answers can also help doctors formulate the best treatment options.
Describe Your Pain
This isn’t exactly a question, but it functions as one. How is your pain expressed? Are you dealing with shooting pain, numbness in an area or pain that seems to pulse with each step you take. Again, this helps to determine a root cause of the pain, as well as the best strategies for treating it.
How Have You Been Treating The Pain
Finally, if you’ve been dealing with the pain for some time, odds are you’ve developed a couple of treatment strategies of your own. Are you trying to perform some physical therapy exercises, or are you taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications? What’s working, what’s not? All of this will help your pain physician understand your pain and develop a treatment plan to eliminate the problem.