How to Prepare For Your First Appointment With a Pain Specialist

Before You Attend

In the first instance, make sure that you know exactly how to travel to the clinic’s location, and that you know exactly where it is situated. (Finding out about nearby landmarks is a good tip. For instance: close to John Lewes department store). Keep the clinic’s phone number with you, just in case you need to call them in case you get lost, etc.

As soon as you have confirmed your first appointment with a Pain Specialist, it would be very beneficial if you could start to monitor your symptoms by keeping a ‘Pain Diary’ with a clear note of: 1. When the pain symptoms occur. 2. How long they last. 3: What type of pain it is. 4: The degree of pain (on a scale of 1 to 10, the latter bing the most severe). And 5: Whether there is anything that happens which either reduces the pain, or makes it disappear. – This could include something that you do – for example, lie down. This log will enable your Pain Specialist to get an overview of your pain patterns, and how the pain is affecting your daily living (including your sleep patterns).

Have Your Questions Prepared

Your Pain Specialist will expect you to ask questions, so don’t just keep certain questions in mind, as you may forget some. – Remember that your appointment space is very limited, and there will not be any time to have to try and recall what you would like to know. To that end, write down a list of what you would like to know, and you will be given the answers in easy to understand, laymen’s terms.

Your Pain Specialist is bound to ask you the following questions, so write down the answers to the following:

• Which areas of your body are painful?
• How long has the pain been affecting you?
• Has the pain got worse?
• Does anything you do ameliorate the pain?
• How does the pain impact your everyday functioning?
• Have you ever been given a diagnosis for your pain?
• Have you ever been treated for your current pain issues before?
• Do you do anything to help you deal with your pain?
• Do do walk every day, and if so, for how long?
• Do you do any other exercise?
• How well do you sleep?
• Do you eat at regular times of the day, and is your diet healthy?
• Have you ever been treated for your current pain issues before?
• Are you currently suffering from any other health issues?
• Are you on any medication?
• Do you have any support at home?
• Are you able to manage?

Note: if you are taking any form of medication, whether it is pain or non-pain related, it is a good idea to take your medication with you to your appointment.