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First Visit to Pain Management - What to Expect?

edited 11/04/2015 - 4:53 PM in Pain Medications

I have my first appointment with a new pain management doctor this Friday, can anyone share with me what to expect/questions to ask/things to do/not do? I've had 2 surgeries to my neck in the past and had an amazing PM dr. in the past but we recently moved. My PCP has been prescribing my pain meds but we both agree along with my surgeon that I should try something more due to my latest MRI which shows bilateral facet arthrosis, hypertrophy and an osteophyte complex all along my C-spine. I'm concerned because I got a bunch of paperwork to fill out prior to my consult with this new dr., including a contract that requires me to only work with him and come in for random drug tests and pill counts. I've never had to do this before with any of my doctors and it seems weird to me since I haven't even met him yet.

~Hope and healing to all


  • I was referred to PM because my MD that I had been with for 13 years retired.

    We tried all kinds of procedures and meds and at that time I was on a long acting and short acting narcotic. I have been on a narcotic med of some sort for the last 18 years.

    I only had 2 weeks notice that I was losing my doctor, so I had to go to one of his colleagues and beg him to write my monthly script til I could be seen at PM. I had seen so many folks here say that on their first visit they received no meds so I was really worried because it took a little over a month to get in to see them so I would be almost out of meds by the time I got to my appointment.

    It was such a relief when I got to the appointment and they had no problem continuing the meds I was on until we could maybe find something better. I also saw a PA that first time and that had me worried when he came in to the room.

    One thing I would probably do If I were you is to write down any and all questions you want to ask. I know I kinda went blank when he came in because I was so nervous. I know I didn't sign my pain contract until the day of my appointment but it may be included in your packet just so you will know that they require one. That way if a patient is unwilling to sign one for one reason or another, they just won't bother coming in. That probably weeds out some of the problems.

    On my first visit he did go over all the injections he thought might be of help to me and set me up for one the following appointment. When I got to the second appointment the Doctor(whom I hadn't seen up to that point) came in and said after looking over all my records he was cancelling the injection because he didn't see the point in putting me thru the pain when he didn't believe it was going to work.

    PM really has been a great thing for me. I am doing even better on the meds they chose for me and when I needed an increase after 6 months, it was no problem getting one. Been on the same dose now for almost 4 years.

    I think I was lucky to have found a good one on the first try. So don't worry if this one throws up red flags, just move on to the next. That has happened to lots of folks and they move on to find a PM that is a good fit for them.

    You will do great! Let us know how it goes.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    I agree with Cindy. :)

    Only wanted to add, the more information doctor has, the better his understanding of situation and the sooner the help he can provide.
    My primary sent in such a thorough referral, PM doctor started me on helpful medication first visit.

    The other thing I did was to bring in any CDs I had of previous testing.
    My PM does not only review written impressions, but reviews actual CDs.
    He has found things that were not noted on written impressions.

    Re the contract, I find comfort in it. It's less confusion for me to know any order for pain medication has to go through him.
    I double checked with my PM re if something were to happen and I needed ER and they medicated me, would that be okay?

    He told me to go to ER if needed and make them aware of meds I'm taking..and for me to accept treatment.
    But then he wanted me to notify him asap re how they treated me.
    If I was given a script for pain, he would then decide if I was to take it or not.

    I like his double checking re the serious pain meds given!
    Pain management has been best thing for me!

    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • Hi!

    Thank you both so much for your responses! After reading them, I feel so much more at ease. I was really anxious at first because I was concerned that he was going to try and change everything that has been working thus far to manage my pain (we have tried every type of medication under the sun and finally found the right combination). The goal for the referral was to hopefully try some injections which will hopefully lead to the reduction of pain meds (fingers crossed). I have been advised that I will need surgery at some point but we are trying to hold off as long as possible since I am 31 years old and have already had 2 surgeries on my neck. I think that I am still coping with the fact that my neck is going to continue to get worse and I am nervous about forming a new trusting relationship with a doctor (I've had a few bad experiences in the past). Thank you for all of your advice regarding what to do beforehand (bring MRI, report, and list of questions), also I like that you mention that if it's not a good fit then I can always find someone else. Thanks again!!!
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