An appointment with your doctor may seem like a race against time. Spine Center of Texas has six steps to help you get the most out of your time and help find the most fitting pain relief treatment:
- Look for a specialist with extended appointments – Remember that you are not bound to sticking to one specialist. There are spine specialists that give extended appointments up to one hour. Feel free to look around your area or talk to your primary care physician.
- Prepare a written medical history beforehand – Questions regarding your medical history are standard procedure. Write your medical history down so you can answer the specialist quickly and accurately. This can benefit you in two ways: (a) providing accurate and complete information leads to more accurate diagnosis and (b) you’ll have more time to discuss treatment options with your doctor.
- Get a friend to accompany you – You’ll have a hard time concentrating if your pain is severe. Having a friend to take notes during your appointment can free you to focus on your conversation with the doctor. You can also rely on your friend to help prioritize topics and remind you of important matters that need to be discussed.
- Consider going online – The first consultation doesn’t have to be your final treatment plan. If you want a second opinion, there are online consultations that can be conducted from the convenience of your own home. However, there are obvious drawbacks to this approach, especially if the doctor needs to physically examine you.
- Keep a record book – Have a notebook or keep tabs on your phone to list down any activities you find difficult over the course of the week. Make sure to be honest about everything. You and your doctor may want to consider surgical options if the pain is preventing you from fulfilling basic tasks.
- Read up on sciatica – There are many terms associated with sciatica, which is why it is important to learn any unfamiliar vocabulary ahead of time. Researching sciatica can save you time and confusion during your consultation.