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It is also useful to come in with medical records from other healthcare providers who you might have seen in the past, and with the reports from tests which you may have had in the past. For example, I ask my new patients with low back pain to bring copies of their most recent xray, CT scan and MRI reports. If they have had spinal procedures or surgeries in the past, it's also useful to have records from the physicians who performed them. If my patients are not able to get copies, it's not a problem, but having those things makes it easier to develop a plan together.
Before I order the appropriate tests, I need to know all about my patient and her symptoms. I ask my patients to bring a list of concerns with them to each consultation. Many times women are hesitant to tell me exactly how they feel or how the pain has impacted their lives, including activities, marital and family relationships, and work. To get an accurate diagnosis, be sure to write down the following personal facts and bring to your visit: any health concerns, symptoms you’ve noticed, past illnesses and medications, medications you are taking now and medications you have taken in the past, questions you have about your health and pain, your family history of illnesses, lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, smoking), and the main causes of stress in your life. In addition, bring with you all medications, vitamins, and supplements that you are taking. Your doctor can let you know which ones are safe – and which may not be used safely.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.