At Your Appointment

Chronic Pain Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • How severe is your pain? On a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the worse pain you have ever had.
  • How would you describe your pain? Sharp, dull, throbbing, burning?
  • How is your pain affecting your mood, relationships, and daily activities? Not at all, somewhat, or significantly.
  • What other symptoms are you experiencing?
  • What are your pain relief goals?
  • What other medical conditions do you have?
  • How long have you had pain?
  • How did your pain start? With an event, like an injury, or gradually over time?
  • Where do you feel pain? Is it limited to this area or does it seem to spread?
  • Is your pain constant or does it come and go?
  • What seems to make your pain better or worse?
  • What have you done to try to relieve your pain?
  • What side effects are you experiencing with your pain medicine?
  • What tests and treatments have you had so far?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • What is chronic pain?
  • How do you diagnose chronic pain?
  • What treatments are available for chronic pain?
  • How do lifestyle factors affect chronic pain?
  • What is the most likely cause of my chronic pain?
  • Is it possible to treat the underlying cause of my chronic pain?
  • Are medications the only treatment for my chronic pain or are there non-medication options?
  • What are the next steps if this treatment does not meet my pain relief goals?
  • Are there lifestyle changes I can make to help relieve my pain?
  • Could another medicine control my pain better with fewer side effects?
  • Are my new or different symptoms related to my chronic pain or its treatment?
  • What is the best treatment plan for my chronic pain?
  • If I use a medication, what are the side effects, including the potential for addiction?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS; Sarah Lewis, PharmD
Last Review Date: 2018 Nov 7
  1. Chronic Pain Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 
  2. Chronic Pain: Medication Decisions. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
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