Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
To get the best medical care, take time to prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
Write down any symptoms you're experiencing — including the severity and location of your pain, stiffness or sensitivity. It's also a good idea to write down any questions you have for your doctor.
Examples of questions you might ask your doctor include:
- What's the likely cause of the symptoms I'm experiencing?
- What kinds of tests, if any, do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What types of treatments are available? Which do you recommend?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing for me?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. For complex regional pain syndrome, your doctor may ask:
- Have you had a recent accident, illness or injury, such as trauma to your limbs, a heart attack or an infection?
- Have you had surgery recently?
- When did you first begin experiencing pain or burning?
- How long have you been experiencing your symptoms?
- Is the pain occasional or continuous?
- Does anything seem to improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Have you experienced similar symptoms after past injuries?
- Sheon RP. Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Sheon RP. Prevention and management of complex regional pain syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Complex regional pain syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy/detail_reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy.htm. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Neuropathic pain. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec16/ch209/ch209c.html#sec16-ch209-ch209c-285. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Shipton EA. Complex regional pain syndrome — Mechanisms, diagnosis, and management. Current Anaesthesia & Critical Care. 2009;20:209.