Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You might be referred to a physical therapist or a doctor specializing in spine disorders (orthopedist).

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms, and when they began.
  • Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major changes or stressors in your life.
  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins or supplements.
  • Find out if anyone in your family has had similar problems.
  • Ask a relative or friend to accompany you, to help you remember what the doctor says.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What treatments are available?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may make time to go over points you want to discuss in-depth. You might be asked:

  • Where exactly does your neck hurt?
  • Have you had previous episodes of similar pain that eventually went away?
  • Have you experienced any changes in your bladder or bowel control?
  • Have you experienced tingling or weakness in your arms, hands, legs or feet?
  • Do you have difficulty walking?
  • What self-care measures have you tried, and have any of them helped?
  • What are your occupation, hobbies and recreational activities?
  • Have you ever had whiplash or another neck injury?
Nov. 18, 2015