Visiting A Pain Management Clinic? Tips For That First Appointment

Health & Medical Blog

Living with chronic pain can make life challenging at best and miserable at worst. If you've been diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, your doctor may have referred you to a local pain clinic for treatment and pain management. For those who have never been to a pain clinic before, it can be a challenge to figure out what to expect. Here's a look at a few tips to help you prepare for that first pain clinic appointment.

Bring Your Records Or Have Them Forwarded

In most cases, if your doctor refers you to a pain clinic, he or she will also forward your records to the clinic so that they can review your situation, your diagnosis, and any treatment that's happened thus far. However, even records transfers aren't perfect, and if you want to eliminate the risk that your records were misplaced in transit, get a copy of them from your doctor ahead of time. That way, you can bring a copy with you in case the pain clinic didn't receive them.

It's important for the pain clinic to get your records because they need to see what has already been done to diagnose and manage your condition. Knowing what doesn't work is equally as important as determining what does, especially when you're dealing with chronic pain.

Be Prepared For Some Testing

In most cases, your first visit to the pain clinic will include some diagnostic testing. Your pain management doctor will want to do their own independent assessment of your condition, which may include x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and more. In fact, it's not uncommon for a first-time appointment at a pain management clinic to take more than an hour for this reason. Dress in layers and easily-removed clothing just in case you need to take something off or the doctor needs to work around something.

Have Your Pain Diary And A List Of Questions

That first visit to the pain clinic involves a lot of "getting to know you" as a patient, but it's also your initial opportunity for pain management support. Have your pain diary with you so that you can show them the trajectory of your pain and how it's affecting your daily life. Be ready with any questions you might have about treatment options, ways to better manage your pain, or the expectations of certain symptoms. The more you know, the easier it is to be your own advocate.

Ask your doctor about a pain clinic referral for your chronic pain problems. Don't let chronic pain affect your daily life any more than it has to.  


20 December 2021

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