What will happen on my first visit to the doctor?

The goals of your first doctor’s visit are to get to know each other and to communicate all the information you have about your symptoms and condition. This includes asking any questions you have, even if you are a little embarrassed to ask.

The first step in the exam is a health history. Your doctor will probably have you fill out a form about your pain, your symptoms, and your medical history. You will also be asked questions about your family’s medical history. Typical questions include:
*Does anyone in your family have similar problems?
*Do you have any other medical conditions?
*Are you taking any medications?

After your doctor looks at the form, he or she will ask you more questions. These tend to be more specific to the pain and other symptoms you are having right now. Typical questions include:
*When did your pain start?
*Did it start because of an injury?
*Where exactly is the pain located?
*Have you ever been injured in that spot?
*How strong is your pain? (You may be asked to rate it on a scale of one to 10.)
*What makes the pain go away?
*What makes the pain worse?

Your doctor will then physically examine you, concentrating on the area of pain. Your doctor will prod the sore area and move it. The prodding and movement may hurt, but it is important that your doctor know exactly where and when you feel pain.

The first exam is just the beginning. Try to be as open with your doctor as possible. Express your worries and concerns right away. They better you communicate with your doctor, the easier it will be for the two of you to develop a treatment plan for your pain.