Preparing to visit a spine doctor in Tampa
If you live in west Central Florida and have been experiencing chronic neck or back pain, you may be considering visiting a spine doctor in Tampa. It’s understandable to feel nervous at the prospect of an appointment, especially if you are wondering if surgery may be necessary to help you find relief. One of the best things you can do to ease your mind is to inform yourself about what to expect from your visit and how to prepare to meet with a spine doctor.
Tips for preparing for an appointment
Neck or back pain can be extremely frustrating to live with and it can take you away from your favorite activities and people. In many cases, patients will see their primary care doctor for a diagnosis and initial treatment of pain or other symptoms that have not gone away after a few days. Patients may seek out or be referred to a more specialized doctor in cases where symptoms don’t respond to basic methods like over-the-counter medication, rest or hot and cold compression or if a more extensive evaluation is required to properly diagnose the pain.
In preparation for your consultation, here are a few things that you can do to help get the most out of the appointment:
- Keep careful record of your symptoms. One way to assist your spine doctor in the diagnostic process is to maintain a pain journal that catalogs the symptoms you experience. Be specific with your summary and note what time of the day you experience the problem, what you were doing when the symptoms occurred, what you are feeling in exact terms and any other details you can think of that might help the physician identify the problem.
- Be prepared to answer questions about your lifestyle. Often, neck and back pain can be traced to lifestyle factors that lead to the deterioration of components that support the spine. For instance, having a line of work that requires frequent bending, twisting and lifting may lead to problems even if you are careful.
- Do your homework. Having a basic understanding of spinal anatomy and some of the various treatment options that might be recommended is a great way to reduce some of the stress involved with meeting with the spine doctor and help you ask the right questions about your condition.
If surgery does become an option
Pain and other symptoms caused by a spine condition can often be treated with conservative options. Upon diagnosis, a spine doctor may recommend treatments like physical therapy, spinal injections or massage treatment before surgery becomes a serious consideration.
If you and your doctor have decided that conservative treatment options have been fully explored and you’re considering surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. We are the leaders in minimally invasive spine surgery and have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief with our streamlined outpatient procedures. We have state-of-the-art surgery centers located across the country, including our headquarters in Tampa.