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Sciatica – Preparing for Your Appointment

October 27, 2013

Your appointment with your doctor may be brief and since you may have a lot of questions and things you want to ask him about your sciatica, preparing then for your appointment is the best thing to do to make the most out of your appointment. To help you out, listed below are some tips to better prepare for your appointment and what you can expect from your physician.

How to Prepare

You should be cognizant of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you have just made your appointment, the next thing to do is to know what you need to do in advance. This can be preparing for loose clothing in case you need to undergo an imaging exam or start making diet restrictions for yourself.

Use a journal to list down all known symptoms you are experiencing. That can be anything that may not seem related to the problem that prompted you to make the appointment in the first place.

Also list down in the journal all the medications you are taking including any steroids, supplements or vitamins you regularly use.

Bring along a friend or family member to your appointment. Having someone to accompany you to your appointment can assist you in remembering all the information the doctor says regarding your condition and what you need to do and not do.

List down in your journal all questions to ask your doctor. Remember that your time with your doctor may only last 15 minutes so compiling a questions list will optimize your appointment time. For your sciatica problems, some good questions to ask your doctor can include:

  • What most probably is the reason for my condition or symptoms?
  • Besides the most probable cause, what are the other possible reasons for my condition or symptoms?
  • What types of tests do I need required to undergo?
  • Do I have a chronic or temporary condition?
  • What course of treatment is the best for me?
  • What alternative treatments besides the primary approach can you recommend?
  • I have other health issues. What can I do to best manage my back problem along with my other conditions?
  • What are the restrictions do I need to follow?
  • Do I need to consult with a specialist? How much will that cost? Will my insurance plan include consulting with a specialist?
  • Do you have informational brochures and any other printed materials that I can read at home? Are there any websites you can recommend that I can visit regarding my condition?

If you have other questions for your doctor outside this list of questions, be sure to ask them all if possible.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor will have questions of his own to ask you as well. Some of the questions may be like these:

  • What symptoms have you experienced? Do you feel any weakness, pain, tingling or numbness?
  • What part of your body do you specifically feel those symptoms?
  • How long have you felt these symptoms?
  • Have they been occasional or continuous?
  • What makes your symptoms get worse?
  • Is there anything that makes it better?
  • Do you have a hobby or job that entails you to perform repetitive movements?