How To Prepare For Your Visit With A Spine Specialist
Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
If you’ve suffered a significant spine injury, or you’ve been saddled with back pain for a while and you want someone other than your primary care physician to have a look, you may decide to set up a consultation with a back specialist. Dr. Sinicropi sees new patients each day, and he’d be more than happy to meet with you and help get to the bottom of your back pain, but he also wants to make sure the meeting is as beneficial as possible, which means there are some things you’ll need to do before and during the appointment. Below, we explain how you can get prepared for your first appointment with a back specialist.
Before Your Appointment
Here’s a look at a number of things you should do prior to meeting with your spine specialist to help get the most out of the consultation.
- Know the location – If you haven’t been to that doctor’s office before, get an address and make sure you plug it into your GPS. See how long it will take to get there and plan accordingly.
- Get your records – If you have had x-rays or imaging tests performed, get copies or have them forwarded from your primary care physician to the specialist’s office.
- List your symptoms and medications – Many people find it helpful to write down their full list of symptoms, including when pain is worst and what actions make your spine pain intensify or alleviate. You should also write down what medications you’re currently taking and what treatments you’ve been trying so far.
- Be on time – If this is your first time at this provider’s office, make it a point to arrive at least 15 minutes early, as you’ll likely have to fill out some paperwork. Arriving at the office at 2:00 p.m. for your 2:00 p.m. appointment is only going to back everything up. We do everything in our power to stay on schedule, and we ask that you help with this process by arriving early. This way every patient gets the time and attention they deserve.
During Your Appointment
Here are some things you’ll want to do once you arrive at the spine specialist’s office:
- Be honest – We’re not here to judge you, so be open and honest when we ask about your daily habits and your pain. We don’t care whether you smoke or if you don’t attend you physical therapy sessions, but we need to know this in order to get to the root of the issue and to find a way to help you. We may talk about tweaking these choices down the road, but we need this information in the present to provide you with the best care possible, so be honest.
- Stay on point – We can be guilty of this one too. It can be easy to talk about things other than your back pain, but both provider and patient should try to stay on point. The more we focus on your back, the better the chance we have of working towards a solution, so keep off-topic discussions to a minimum.
- Be involved in the conservation – The discussion about your spine and how to care for it shouldn’t be a one-sided conversation. We’re going to want to hear your input, and odds are you’ll have questions of your own. Ask these questions and get clarification on anything you don’t fully understand. Both patient and provider will benefit from a two-way conservation during diagnosis and treatment.
- Walk out with a plan – Finally, before you leave the office, make sure you know what next steps you should take. Get a clear understanding of your treatment plan from your doctor before you leave. Whether that means picking up a prescription and setting up physical therapy sessions or scheduling x-rays, make sure you have a clear understanding of what’s expected from you when you leave the doctor’s office.
For more tips to ensure your visit with a spine specialist is a success, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Sinicropi, reach out to his clinic today.