When a patient writes a negative online review for a pain management clinic, that usually means that their appointment wasn’t what they expected. This disconnect between patient expectations and experiences has for years been a topic of discussion among pain management providers. In an effort to solve this problem, clinic leaders have been trying to provide information that can help patients prepare for treatment.
If you’re considering visiting a pain management specialist, here’s what you need to know:
At your first appointment, be prepared to present detailed medical records, including the results of any diagnostic exams you’ve had. You should be able to find new patient paperwork online, so you can determine what information you’ll need to provide. You will at least need to provide your insurance information and a list of current and previous medications, and it’s a good idea to take your prescription medication with you to your appointment, in case the clinic staff needs to verify any prescription information.
Pain management clinics must follow strict guidelines for prescribing medication, and sometimes, patients are surprised that they can’t get the medication they want at their first appointment. Pain management physicians do always act in the best interest of their patients, however. If you have been taking pain medicine for a while, your physician might want to evaluate whether it’s really the best way of treating your pain, or whether another option might be more effective.
If you receive an opiate medication at a pain clinic, you will have to agree to the terms of the clinic’s medication policy (this is a requirement under federal law). The agreement may also specify your responsibilities as a patient – for example, attending your physical therapy appointments and agreeing to regular drug-screenings. Failure to sign or comply with any clinic agreements likely will result in termination of treatment.
Rarely do people with chronic pain experience complete relief. In treating patients who have chronic pain, pain management specialists attempt to reduce pain to manageable levels and help patients regain strength and mobility.
If you’re unsure what to expect at your appointment, feel free to ask questions so you can be prepared. At Center for Pain Management, we’re happy to answer your questions – if you need to see a pain management specialist, please call us: (317) 706-7246.