How to Talk to Your Doctor About Chronic Back Pain

by | Jul 28, 2022 | colorado spine doctor

As a common condition with serious, sometimes life-altering symptoms, back pain is a hot topic to discuss with doctors. After all, back pain can affect nearly every aspect of your life, from your physical health to your ability to enjoy the activities that bring you happiness and purpose.

Despite its prevalence and seeming simplicity, bringing up your back pain with your doctor in a productive conversation can be surprisingly difficult. Whether it is an unfamiliarity with the technical terminology used to discuss medical conditions or a level of embarrassment, reasons for avoiding a conversation about back pain seem to abound.

Rather than allowing the challenges of describing, discussing, and developing a plan to fix your back pain become an obstacle to a healthier future, consider these quick tips for talking to your doctor about chronic back pain. They will give you the tools and confidence you need to have a fruitful talk with your doctor and begin the process of creating a healthier, happier you.

Ask Questions

When it comes to back pain, your doctor is the expert. Deferring to their immense knowledge of the condition is a wise strategy when discussing chronic back pain. They have the expertise, experience, and training to understand your physical health, lead the conversation, and make the journey from first contact to healthy back as easy as possible.

By asking questions, you can simultaneously share what you’re feeling while leaning on your doctor’s technical knowledge. This will also benefit future conversations, as you can learn along the way and communicate more effectively as a result.

Take (and Bring) Notes

Your doctor can only work with the information you give them, so try to be as transparent and precise as possible. Only by providing your doctor with accurate data can they effectively aid you in avoiding and combatting back pain.

Bringing notes to your visit is a great way to ensure you don’t forget anything during the conversation. Plan these notes out beforehand and be sure to reference them throughout your time together. In addition, consider taking notes during the appointment. You can look back on these to remember exactly what your doctor said and why.

Be Detailed

Your back pain is unique to you, so be as detailed as possible when discussing it with your doctor. For example, be sure to describe what the pain feels like, where you feel it, and when it occurs most frequently. Is it a sharp pain or an ache? Is it focused in one area, or does it radiate? Do you feel is most at night or after particular activities?

The more detailed you are, the better your doctor will be able to understand your pain and work with you to fix it.

No matter your approach to talking about chronic back pain with your doctor, the most important thing is that you start the conversation. Your doctor can’t help you if they don’t know that you are experiencing pain, so don’t allow hesitation to prevent you from seeking aid. Trust us; your doctor will be happy to facilitate the conversation and help you achieve a healthier back and better life.


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