Living with Chronic Pain

Valuable Questions to Ask a Pain Specialist


Finding a health care provider that attentively and compassionately listens to concerns and effectively answers questions is important for individuals living with a chronic pain condition. Oftentimes, seeing a physician who specializes in pain management is the best option.

Providing a detailed and precise account of symptoms is imperative when discussing chronic pain with a physician. Maintaining a pain journal and asking and answering questions with detail helps health care providers effectively treat pain.


Asking questions and discussing treatment options with a health care provider is the first step in dealing with chronic pain.

Valuable questions to ask include:

  • What is the best way to keep track of pain?
  • What are possible treatment options?
  • What pain-management options are the safest and most helpful?
  • Will lifestyle changes help?
  • Are alternative therapies effective?
  • What medications will help? What side effects do they have?
  • Will insurance cover treatment?
  • Will surgery be necessary now or in the future? If yes, then what kind of surgery?
  • How frequent are mandatory doctor visits?

Having an honest, detailed discussion about chronic pain with a health care provider is the beginning of an effective pain management plan. Feeling comfortable and heard during a health care appointment is important. Bringing a family member or friend along to visits with a physician not only provides emotional support, but it also provides an extra set of ears to retain the information provided at the appointment.

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