When Talking To Your Pain Management Doctor, There Are Things You Shouldn’t Say

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Sometimes we’re lucky and get a general physician that is gentle and warm welcoming as Dr. Oz. Then sometimes, we get a doctor that is exasperating and intimidating.  And when you’re in pain and going to see a specialist like a pain management doctor, they make it a downright embarrassing experience that is uncomfortable.

We’ve all had that one doctor experience that was like that. They treated you in a way that was dismissive or patronizing. Maybe even insinuated that you were an addict or a hypochondriac, perhaps even just outright said it?  This isn’t an uncommon experience when you visit with a pain management doctor either.

Not that we’re taking sides, but perhaps you didn’t talk to your pain management doctor right, and as such, got off on a bad note. We’ve done a little researching with various doctors and have some tips to offer you on what not to say during your first visit, sometimes, never, when you’re there for chronic pain.

1.    When your pain management doctor asks “What seems to be the problems?”, don’t say “I’m hurting all over”. Does this mean your eyes hurt, your teeth hurt, or your toenails hurt? Make the effort to be as specific as possible and pinpoint one or two areas that you’re having the most pain. Be able to tell the doctor when and where the pain started.

2.    Don’t embellish or overstate describing your pain. Most of the time, basic and simple descriptors such as ‘achy’, ‘dull’, ‘sharp’ or ‘stabbing’ are sufficient enough descriptions.

3.    Don’t reference back to that auto accident you had 20 years ago or the time you got pushed off the playground slide.  Your pain management doctor may ask you about a time way back in an effort to find why you’re having a pain, but some doctors believe this can be misleading and get away from the true problem. As such, it will make any therapy or treatment ineffective and maybe unnecessary.

4.    Don’t reference your pain to an auto accident or work-related injury, even if that is why you’re there. Unfortunately, by telling your pain management doctor these things, many will see it as you’re attempting to build a case for gain, i.e. a cash settlement.

5.    Never ask them for a specific drug for pain management. This is a red flag for any doctor that the patient is a possible drug abuser. You are there to get help, not make suggestions on how you can be helped. Never volunteer that you are not a drug addict or drug user to your pain management doctor. When you do that, it will sound more like you’re trying to cover up the truth.

6.    Do not tell your doctor that you have already tried everything there is to try, even if it seems like you have, you haven’t. You should create a list of all the medications and treatments that you have tried, even provide what the results were. But let your pain management doctor make the decisions on what to try or not try.

7.    Do not make a specific request for lab work or testing like an MRI. This will most likely cause nothing but a defensive attitude and a defensive response from your doctor.

8.    Do not tell your doctor that you are allergic to anything and everything, including anti-inflammatories or vaccinations.

9.    Do not talk about things you have found in the way of diagnosis, therapy or treatment that you have seen on television (like from Dr. Oz) or research you did on the internet.

These rules aren’t hard fast and set in stone. You should feel your pain management doctor out and determine if they are the defensive type with suggestions or if they take it as helping them. If possible, do interview sessions with them before you commit to them as a patient and learn their way of ‘doctoring’.

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