21 Feb Easy Ways Patients Can Help Their Pain Management Doctors
Pain management in Weatherford, TX works best when patients and doctors approach treatment as a team. Both doing their part usually makes it possible to maximize pain relief so that a patient can live his or her best life. So, how are you and your pain management doctor doing?
Whether it is cervical pain, neck and shoulder pain, or even chronic headaches that will not seem to go away, pain management doctors pride themselves on being able to help patients find relief. But as any pain specialist will tell you, doctors can only be at their best when patients help.
With that in mind, here are some easy ways patients can help their pain management doctors do better:
1. Keep Detailed Records
One of the best things patients can do is keep detailed records. For example, maybe your doctor wants to try a particular pain medication before discussing a cervical epidural steroid injection. Keeping records of how well that medication works gives your doctor invaluable information for moving forward.
Patients should keep detailed records about their symptoms. They should write down when they experience symptoms, how severe those symptoms are, how long they last, and anything that brought relief. Even writing down how a patient’s condition affects daily life is helpful.
2. Ask Any and All Questions
A good pain management doctor is not afraid of questions. In fact, they welcome them. She knows that a patient who doesn’t ask questions is more likely to make assumptions about things unknown. And you know what they say about assumptions. If you don’t, it’s enough to know that assumptions aren’t good.
All of this is to say that patients can help their doctors by asking any and all questions they have. Questions offer the opportunity to provide answers. They also give doctors insight into how patients are thinking and feeling. A doctor can glean as much information from a question as a patient gleans from the answer.
3. Follow Treatment Advice
One of the more frustrating things to pain management doctors is giving treatment advice that patients ultimately do not follow. It stands to reason that patients can help their doctors do better by following through on the advice given.
Not all treatment recommendations prove successful. We know that. We also know that pain management is complex enough that it can take some time to hit on what actually works. Pain management doctors need patients to follow their recommendations, and track the results, so that they can figure out how to offer maximum pain relief.
4. Maintain an Open Mind
Last but not least is the concept of maintaining an open mind. Unfortunately, Western medicine is so focused on pharmacology (i.e., drugs, medical devices, and surgeries) that it can be difficult for patients to accept the possibility of alternative treatments.
Prescription medications are not necessarily the best way to address certain types of chronic pain. Likewise, sometimes a nerve block is a better option than surgery. Patients can really help their pain medicine doctors by carefully weighing all their options before making treatment decisions.
At this point, it is important to note that one of the main differences between pain medicine and primary care is how chronic pain is approached. Pain medicine doctors are more open to alternative therapies because their goal is to treat the root cause of the pain rather than just cover the pain up.
Hopefully, you now have a better handle on how you can help your pain management doctor. Remember that the two of you are a team, working together to help you live your best life.