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Questions to ask your doctor if you suffer from back pain.

Questions to ask your doctor (and why)

Q...What's causing my pain and why can't I have any further treatment...

Because chronic long term pain isn't normal there is nearly always a reason for it. Until the reason is clearly identified, how can anyone say no further treatment is available? (Don't be fobbed off),

Q...How long shall I give the current treatment to work...

Some treatments may take days or weeks to obtain the full effect. Make sure before you leave the surgery you have established how long it will be before you can reasonably expect to obtain results.

Q..What other tests and investigations are available...

You don't want to endure unnecessary tests, but ensure you have had all the investigations etc that will benefit you.

Q...What other forms of treatment can I try...

Many people are kept on the same treatment for years even though it's obviously not working, or their drug therapy may be hopelessly wrong.

New ways of managing back pain are constantly being developed.

Take in leaflets and books etc you've been reading to the surgery and ask your doctor about the possibility of being involved in any trials etc that may be available.(There may be just the right treatment for you).

Q...I'm in so much pain, Why aren't you doing more for me...

Even though the doctor knows you're in pain, he just might not have the right treatment available to offer you. You may have to accept this, (But look at alternative forms of treatment as well).

Q...What about any new developments, there must be something to help me...

Ask to be kept informed, and tell your doctor you wish to be considered for treatment as soon as it becomes available.

Q...Can you refer me to anyone else...

Many people with chronic pain gain comfort from other therapies such as physiotherapy, psychologists,
counsellors and specialist pain clinics. Ask your doctor to refer you to one of these, (It may help).

One last thing, don't ever assume it's not worth going back to your doctors because you have had your pain for ages, (especially if you never had a proper diagnosis), because it's never to late to get one...

Just think, a more careful investigation of your symptoms may lead to a more effective treatment.

Don't give up until you have exhausted every avenue (And hey even then don't give up)...

Hope this helps you for when you next visit your doctor...

About the Author

Kim Standerline is a back care Advisor working for a large Hospital Trust. She's passionate about Back Care and can be found at www.backpain-free.com and www.nursing-hints.com

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