Going to a spine specialist is a good first step when it comes to dealing with spine-related aches, pains, or issues. Granted, it’s not realistic to expect to be magically “cured” after your visit. Still, there are some things you can do to make your appointment with a spine specialist as productive and beneficial as possible. Keep the tips mentioned below in mind.
Even if you think you have a good understanding of your symptoms, you may overlook some key details during your actual appointment. One way to make sure you don’t forget anything important is to keep a symptom journal for a few weeks prior to your appointment. Doing so will help the specialist get a better understanding of what you’re experiencing. If you do keep a journal, make note of:
• The intensity of your discomfort
• What symptoms are like on your “good” and “bad” days
• What movements or actions seem to trigger your discomfort
Be prepared to ask questions that are important to you, and write them down in advance. Get a contact phone number you can use to reach the specialist or someone knowledgeable in the office if you have follow-up questions that pop into your head after your appointment.
Your spine specialist isn’t going to judge you if you admit you don’t exercise as much as you should or you say you follow unhealthy diet or lifestyle habits. Details of this nature are important because they’re often considered when making treatment and post-visit care recommendations.
You’re welcome to schedule an appointment with a spine specialist at any time that’s convenient for you, but mornings tend to be a bit more orderly and less rushed for busy doctors’ offices than what’s common later in the day. This environment may make you feel more relaxed. If you prefer a morning appointment, schedule as far in advance as possible so you’ll have some flexibility with times.
If there’s anything you’re not sure about after you receive an initial diagnosis, orders for specialized tests, or treatment recommendations, don’t leave while you’re still confused or uncertain. Your spine specialist isn’t going to mind if you ask for clarification about anything you’re not sure of before you leave. For example, your spine specialist may recommend having one of a variety of surgical procedures, including spinal fusion alternatives. Beverly Hills patients could continue the discussion by asking whether other treatment methods might be effective for them as well.
Before you finish up your appointment, get an idea of what to look out for when it comes to symptoms and signs suggesting a worsening or more serious problem. This could include:
• Worsening levels of pain
• Symptoms suggesting nerve-based issues
• Significant changes in your quality of daily life
A spine specialist should be able to give you a good idea of what constitutes something to be concerned about. You’ll then know when it’s time to call back to schedule another appointment or seek urgent assistance.
Take time to pay attention and listen to what’s being said. The more diligent you are about making an effort to follow advice and treatment recommendations, the more likely it is you’ll see positive results.
When you’re having spine-related problems, don’t wait to see your doctor, who can make a recommendation for a spine specialist. Keep in mind that seeing a specialist doesn’t necessarily mean surgery will be recommended. It simply means you’ll be more likely to receive an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.
If you’re having sudden, severe, or long-term pain in your back or neck, consulting a Beverly Hills spine surgeon may be the key to prompt diagnosis and treatment. At The Spine Institute, our physicians have years of experience treating every type of spinal health issue. Our pioneering specialists lead the industry when it comes to surgical and nonsurgical innovations and helping patients get back on their feet as soon as possible. Call our friendly staff today at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation.