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Talking to Your Doctor About Chronic Pain

To get the most out of your visit, be prepared to talk to your doctor about your chronic pain in detail -- the more descriptive you can be, the better. You may find it helpful to make a list of your concerns and treatment goals beforehand. By honestly describing the location, frequency, and severity of your pain, you can help your doctor make the best treatment plan possible.

 

Make the Most of a Doctor Visit

In today's busy healthcare environment, most healthcare providers have only a few minutes to spend with each patient. If you aren't careful, you may find that your visit has ended before you even had a chance to discuss what is on your mind. We have a few tips to help you maximize the short time you have with your doctor.
 

Make an Appointment

If you haven't already, start with your primary care provider. This is the doctor you see for your annual physical -- the same doctor that handles your high blood pressure, your high cholesterol, or any other medical conditions you may have. Primary care providers go by several different names, such as general practitioners (sometimes known as "GPs"), family practitioners ("family doctors"), or internists. They may be traditional doctors (MDs or DOs), physician assistants (PAs), or family nurse practitioners (FNPs).
 
Your primary care provider can help evaluate your chronic pain, provide a diagnosis in many situations, and if necessary, refer you to a specialist, such as a rheumatologist, an orthopedic surgeon, or pain specialist. When you make your appointment, tell the receptionist you'd like to see the doctor for your chronic pain, not just for a physical. 
 
What Your Pharmacist Wishes You Knew About Chronic Pain Medications
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