2 Apr

If pain persists see your doctor. The doctor may ask:

• about the nature of the pain – you should say whether it is a sharp or stabbing or burning pain, or a dull ache; whether you feel it at one side or radiating to other places, the arms or legs, for instance; whether you are having tingling sensations there, or a feeling of numbness;

• about the origin of the pain – tell your doctor when and where you first felt it; whether any particular activity had brought it on; whether it started suddenly or developed gradually; whether there are any postures or movements which make it worse – or better;

• about the duration of the pain – tell your doctor how long it is since it started; whether you have it all the time; whether it has got worse since the onset, or stayed the same; whether there are times during the day or night when you feel it more.

• if it is a new pain.

The doctor may not follow this pattern; listen carefully to the questions and be as precise as you can in your answers. The doctor may also ask you about the kind of work you do – active or sedentary, domestic or outdoor – in order to assess the stresses that it may exert on your spine. Your past history of ‘injury’ is important.


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