An estimated 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which can present many challenges when it comes to diagnosing it accurately and prescribing treatments that will enhance quality of life and ease discomfort. Having an open, honest conversation with your doctor about chronic pain is the first step in this process. While talking with a pain management physician about chronic pain, you should be aware of some things you shouldn’t say.
1. “BASED ON THE RESEARCH I DID…”
Based on their knowledge and experience, pain management physicians make well-informed assessments of your condition and offer treatment suggestions. Reading online, watching TV, or getting advice from well-meaning friends may cause you to not have an open mind if the treatments recommended are not what you think may work for you. You should trust the doctor’s interpretation of test results based on his or her impressions.
2. “IT’S JUST REALLY BAD”
Medics can’t read your mind, so general statements like these aren’t helpful for figuring out what you really mean. Chronic pain can vary in intensity over time, even though there may be days when it seems to be “really bad” all the time. Depending on the patient, some patients have flare-ups while others are more uncomfortable when standing, leaning forward, or seated. Talk to your doctor or specialist about these details when discussing your symptoms.
3. STARTED EXPERIENCING…” AFTER AN ACCIDENT”
Associated chronic pain with a car accident or a work-related injury may raise red flags for a doctor who may assume your primary goal is financial gain. You should let your pain management physician focus on diagnosis and treatment, regardless of what happened while you were driving or working.
- “CAN HAVE A PRESCRIPTION FOR…?”
Doctors may be suspicious if you ask for a prescription right away, especially with the growing concern about opioids and addiction. When a doctor understands your condition and how chronic pain affects you, they may suggest pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and other drugs. Don’t get defensive and say you’re not an addict, as that may cause a doctor to question some of your behaviors or motives.
5. “I’ve tried everything”
In managing your symptoms, it may seem like you have tried everything. There are, however, many options available today for treating and managing chronic pain. Provide your pain management physician with a list of treatments or therapies you have already tried, along with the results, to help him decide what to recommend. Once the source of your chronic pain is identified, you may have better results with treatments you’ve already tried. Even if you’ve tried just about “everything,” you may have better results with treatments you’ve already tried.
6. “BUT DOCTOR SAID…”
You should avoid mentioning things your previous doctor did. The new physician may want fresh test results to see what’s going on now, even if you have already had the same diagnostic tests. The new specialist or doctor may become defensive if you mention what another doctor said or did.
Frequently Ask Questions
What is the best way to convince a pain management physician that you are in pain?
When you need to discuss your pain with your doctor, here’s some advice.
- Don’t be afraid to use metaphors and memoirs. By being more descriptive, you can help doctors understand just how debilitating your pain is. …
- Give a brief description of your day. …
- Focus on function, not feelings. …
- Share your treatment history.
What are four barriers to managing pain?
There are several important barriers to adequate pain care in the United States, according to the Institute of Medicine. Several factors contribute to the severity of the problem, including provider attitudes and training, insurance coverage, patient cultural attitudes, geographic barriers, and regulatory barriers.
When working with a pain management physician, you should keep these tips in mind as well. To get a better sense of what’s working and what isn’t, therapists rely on honest, detailed input as well. Based on your feedback, they may suggest alternative therapies that are more comfortable and effective for you, such as water-based exercises.