Health & Fitness

General Article

How to Prepare for a Pain Management Doctor’s Visit

Pain is a common problem for many people and can cause significant problems in a person’s life. If you suffer from pain, consider a pain management doctor for treatment. The first visit to a pain specialist begins with an initial evaluation. It includes reviewing your medical history, bloodwork and any previous imaging studies.

Medical History

The pain doctor Jacksonville FL will want to understand the pain you are experiencing, including its intensity, location and whether it gets better or worse at different times of the day. It is also important to know how long it has been going on. A detailed pain log can help you describe your symptoms to the doctor easily and logically. Bringing this to your appointment will allow the doctor to perform a comprehensive first evaluation and expedite the diagnosis process.

Depending on your situation, the doctor can advise physical therapy, medication, or treatment. Remedy can include opioids, which are often powerful but have serious side effects. The doctor can also prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, or injectables such as epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, and spinal cord stimulation. These therapies can provide significant pain relief if the underlying cause can be addressed. Sometimes, the doctor will recommend psychological or psychiatric treatment to address mental health issues that can lead to physical pain.

Physical Examination

The pain management physician will evaluate prior X-rays or tests and conduct a thorough medical history during your initial session. This initial assessment may take up to an hour. You must bring your New Patient Intake Form and your Medical History Checklist. Your doctor will also want to know if you have any allergies or sensitivities to medications and if you take any over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs or supplements. Also, be prepared to discuss how your pain affects your daily life and your sleep, activity level and mood.

The physical exam of your visit will involve the pain physician listening to your heart and lungs, feeling the joints and examining your skin. It is helpful to bring a pain journal with you so you can write down the location and intensity of your pain, how it feels and whether or not it gets better or worse at certain times of the day.


A pain management specialist specializes in treating various types of pain, often using physical and psychological therapies and medication. Many patients are referred to these doctors by their family physicians or internists. A pain management physician will probe you about the pain symptoms you’ve had to comprehend your suffering. It is why it is important to write down all the questions that you have ahead of time and bring them with you to the appointment. It will be easier to remember them and ensure your doctor gets all the necessary information.

In addition, your pain management doctor will want to know all the medications you are currently taking. It includes over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements and any prescription medications you are on. This information will help the doctor decide what type of treatment may be most helpful for you.


The pain management specialist will then perform a thorough physical examination. If you have any prior X-rays, CT scans or MRIs, it is helpful to bring them with you. If you do not have any, the pain management doctor will study your medical history and ask questions about your current pain levels and how they affect your daily life. They will also inquire about the location and frequency of your pain, how it feels (dull, aching, stabbing, burning) and whether or not it gets worse or better during certain activities or with different medications. You will likely be asked to keep a pain journal to help you track symptoms and patterns. Your physician will discuss various nonsurgical, interventional treatments to relieve your pain based on their specialized training and the latest research. They will likely recommend a combination of treatment options, including pain-killing medications, numbing injections, and other techniques such as epidural steroid injections, spinal cord stimulation, radiofrequency ablation, and more.