Unlocking Success: Dr. Brandon Claflin’s Expert Advice for Your First Pain Management Consultation

Unlocking Success: Dr. Brandon Claflin's Expert Advice for Your First Pain Management Consultation

Athletes are no stranger to injuries. However, other professions, including office workers see their fair share of physical pain too.

Office managers and employees are thought to have some of the safest jobs in the world, but in reality, sitting in front of a desk comes with certain health risks that can get worse over time. Some of these health problems include back pain, neck pain, and headaches.

Low back pain, in particular, is highly common among sedentary office workers. In fact, recent data indicates that one-year prevalence rates for neck and lower back pain among office workers range from 42% to 69%. About 17% to 27% of workers report that these pain problems become chronic, making them more difficult to heal.

If you’re suffering from back or neck pain, managing your health can help prevent it from negatively affecting your work and quality of life. Experiencing constant or persistent pain can impact your productivity and overall work performance. It’s wise to be proactive for a better chance of getting lasting pain relief.

Consulting a pain management specialist for proper treatment can help ease discomfort and pain. Ready to prepare before heading to your appointment?

Here are some things to do before your first pain management consultation:

Create a Pain Diary

According to Dr. Brandon Claflin, a health expert who leads a team of specialists at a Stillwater pain management clinic, documentation is a big part of pain treatment.

Document your pain before going to your first pain management consultation. To do so, create a pain diary and make a note of the intensity and duration of the pain, and what causes or triggers it.

Note when the pain started and the medications that you take to relieve pain. If you’ve tried alternative medicine or healing techniques, such as supplements, teas, topical pain relievers, or acupuncture, write them down as well, and make a note of whether these remedies were effective or not.

Also provide your medical history, especially if you have other health conditions such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney problems, among others. This information can help your pain management doctor design a customized treatment plan that’s more likely to steer clear of aggravating other health problems. If you’re taking medication or undergoing other treatments, include these in your diary too.

Know Your Goals

To get the best treatment for your condition, review your pain and wellness goals and share them with your specialist.

For instance, do you want to experience long-term pain relief? If so, are you willing to consider minimally invasive procedures, or would you rather stick to holistic treatments?

Are you seeking treatment to improve mobility and flexibility? In addition to chronic pain, do you need help with obesity, depression, or anxiety (since these can be contributing factors to pain)?

Setting goals and having objectives for your treatment can help steer the conversation in the right direction. Write your goals down in a notebook or in a separate section of your pain diary so you won’t forget about them on the day of your appointment.

Prep for the Appointment

For your first pain management appointment, it’s important to have a clear mind so you can communicate your thoughts and retain the information given to you by your doctor. Dr. Claflin recommends having a good night’s sleep the night before your appointment.

Avoid drinking alcohol so you can be in good condition the following day. On the day of your consultation, dress in loose and comfortable clothing, and eat a light meal. Bring your pain diary, previous X-ray results, prescriptions, and any other documentation about your chronic pain and other health conditions. You should also bring a pen so you can take notes while talking to your specialist.

It’s normal to feel anxious or nervous, so consider bringing a relative or a friend with you for support. While speaking with your pain specialist, try to be honest when talking about your medical history. Many people try to hide things from their doctor, but doing that does more harm than good.

Keep in mind that your doctor isn’t there to judge you for your actions. Knowing important details about your medical history can help your specialist create a treatment plan that works for you.

Ask the Right Questions

After learning about your medical history, performing a physical exam, and ordering tests (such as an MRI or blood work), your doctor can better diagnose the source of your back or neck pain and prescribe a treatment plan for it.

At this point, don’t hesitate to ask questions, like requesting your doctor tell you more about your condition in a simple way. Also, ask how the prescribed treatments work to reduce pain, and how often you should get them for the best results.

Ask about any milestones to expect during the course of your treatment plan. For instance, when can you realistically expect to feel some improvement in your pain? Are there any side effects or complications that you need to know about? If so, could they get in the way of your work?

Can you get other treatments, such as a massage, to supplement the prescribed procedures? Knowing about your treatment plan and its effects on your body helps you prepare. If there’s a procedure that requires you to have some downtime or if you’re told to go on bed rest right after, you can ask for weekend treatment sessions or file a leave of absence from work.

Make Pain Management a Priority

Managing body pain can be a challenge, especially while you’re working. But don’t wait for the problem to get worse before seeking treatment for it. Consult a pain management doctor for the best treatment options so hopefully soon, you can be pain-free and productive at work every day.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here