Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to initially bring your symptoms to the attention of your family doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedic surgery, neurology, or neurosurgery.

What you can do

Before your appointment, write a list that answers the following questions:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Were you lifting, pushing or pulling anything at the time you first felt symptoms? Were you twisting your back?
  • Has the pain kept you from participating in activities you wanted to do?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • What medications or supplements do you take?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor might ask some of the following questions:

  • Do you have any pain that travels into your arms or legs?
  • Do you feel any weakness or numbness in your arms or legs?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your bowel or bladder habits?
  • Does coughing or sneezing worsen your leg pain?
  • Is the pain interfering with sleep or work?
Jan. 28, 2014