If Your Doctor Doesn’t Have Answers For Your Chronic Pain, Are You Asking The Right Questions?

Dr. Suhyun An, an expert on regenerative medicine and co-author of Demystifying Stem Cells: A Real-Life Approach To Regenerative Medicine, can discuss for your listeners how getting the correct diagnosis for chronic pain often depends on having an in-depth discussion with your doctor.

But Dr. An says that many patients don’t know how to do that, or they find it difficult, and pain lingers unabated because doctors don’t have enough information.

Discussion Questions

  • How can patients be stronger advocates for themselves when trying to describe their chronic pain to their doctors and discuss remedies with them?
  • Please provide the listeners with some examples of questions patients should be prepared to ask doctors about their recurring pain.
  • Should determining the primary source of the chronic pain be the first objective patients pursue when discussing symptoms with their doctor?
  • Are many forms of chronic pain treatable? The high number of sufferers in the U.S. suggests otherwise. Or does that high number indicate, in part, that the patients aren’t communicating effectively with their doctor?
  • If tests are inconclusive, can a patient’s description and details about the chronic pain make the difference in a diagnosis?
  • If someone’s chronic pain moves around to different areas, how can a patient describe that in a way that helps the provider locate the source, causes, and possible remedies?

Over 20 percent of the country’s adult population — 50 million people — live with persistent or frequently recurring pain, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a pain scale, like a blood-pressure monitor, that doctors can use to diagnose pain,” An says. “Doctors will not know the location, timing, or intensity of your pain unless you tell them, and being specific is important for diagnostic purposes. Knowing how to talk with them can be a big step toward finding relief.”

About Dr. Suhyun An, DC, MSN, NP-C

Dr. Suhyun An is the clinical director at Campbell Medical Group in Houston and an expert on regenerative medicine. She is co-author of Demystifying Stem Cells: A Real-Life Approach To Regenerative Medicine and travels the nation speaking on those topics. Dr. An received a BS in Biochemistry and Biophysical Science from the University of Houston, graduated cum laude from Parker College of Chiropractic, and earned her master’s in nursing science from Samford University.