Back Pain and Working With Your Doctor: Finding the Right Fit
Though most cases of back pain come and go, either on their own and with little medical intervention, back pain can be a long-term problem with many potential causes (see causes of back pain) and just as many - or more - possible solutions. When back pain linger and become chronic, it may require a team of people inside and outside the traditional healthcare system to cure or significantly relieve your problem. Your comprehensive healthcare treatment solution to treat your back pain may be self contained within the traditional healthcare system or doctors, radiologists, and physical therapists, or you may go outside the system to seek holistic therapies such as homeopathy and policosanol. The back pain specialists you choose may affect the way you feel for the rest of your life.
Likely, your first step towards treatment will be your primary care doctor. Most people, including you probably, like and trust their primary care physician. The primary care physician, while probably not a specialist, is qualified to diagnose certain back pain disorders, or diagnostic studies, or to determine if the back pain may be a symptom of a more serious medical problem. the doctor may then refer the patient to a back specialist based on the diagnosis, or for other back pain treatments in their specialties. It's important that you see eye to eye with your doctor, and that you trust the direction he is taking you in, whether the treatments include medicine, physical therapy, or surgical intervention. Problems arise when there is a discrepancy between the ways you and your doctor prefer to work. For example, patients who are prescribed with medications for pain must take the right doses as prescribed by the doctor, or they may experience short term or lasting negative side effects. To have a successful treatment outcome, you should have a good level of trust with the tests and treatments proposed by your doctor, and you should be committed to following his/her treatment schedule. If you aren't able to follow the doctors orders precisely, then you should consider finding a new doctor or getting a second opinion from another doctor.
Back Pain and Working with Your Doctor: Finding the Right Fit.
Though acute back pain is likely to come and go quickly without any medical intervention, chronic pain may be tricky to treat and hopefully cure. The answers and treatments may not come quickly, given possibly long wait times for doctor appointments, and the need to possibly try several treatments before you finally find your relief. Before you give up on the doctor and the direction you are being taken in, carefully consider your options. Make sure you're not asking or expecting too much of your doctor. While your doctor should be willing to answer questions and be open to the possibly to the different treatments you would like to try, he probably has other patients and appointments to keep and may not be able to provide the time for you that you might like. To try to take a positive role in the process, come to your appointment well prepared with a list of your medications, medical history, family medical history, and back pain symptoms to speed up the process.