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Tips to Prepare for Your Telehealth Visit for Your Neck or Back Pain With a Spine Surgeon

Authored by Thao Allen, Vicenta Tran. September 3, 2020

If you have made your first telehealth appointment with a spine surgeon, this is a commendable step in your journey to spinal health! In a fast-paced world, our natural inclination is to put the needs of our families, our careers, and other obligations first. This rings especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many Americans are at home, hesitant to venture out, even for medical appointments. As a result, many people are compromising their symptoms for too long until they hit their breaking point and finally decide to seek the care of a specialist. While the world around us gets more complicated addressing your back or neck conditions doesn’t have to. Healthcare has evolved to provide simpler solutions for patients who are in need of timely and convenient care. We understand you have many demands on your time, but that doesn’t mean your spinal condition has to be put on hold.

If you have been experiencing symptoms related to a neck or back condition, seek solutions from our team here at Virginia Spine Institute. Though life is more complicated due to COVID-19, your spinal health is a priority and shouldn’t be ignored. Start by taking the step to make a telehealth appointment. Many treatment options exist, many that do not require spine surgery. The appropriate, non-surgical treatment –from quality manual physical therapy, spinal injections, lifestyle modifications, and regenerative medicine – could change your life. If surgical intervention is necessary, our surgeons have pioneered minimally invasive procedures utilizing the most advanced technology including robotics, navigation, and augmented reality. With smaller incisions patients experience shorter hospital stays, faster recovery time, and improved outcomes.

To get the most out of your telehealth appointment with a spine surgeon we’ve compiled a few recommendations to put you at ease and set you up for success. 

5 Tips To Get the Most Out of Your Telehealth Appointment

  1. Set yourself up in a comfortable setting.

Now that you have made your telehealth appointment, it’s time to prepare. It’s important to plan to spend about an hour talking with our spine team. Try to find a relatively quiet place, where you feel relaxed so that you can have a productive visit and feel at ease. Our team has created a safe and secure connection to protect your privacy and information. 

  1. Keep an Open Mind.

Think of your telehealth appointment as an open conversation with your spine surgeon and supportive team of spine experts, and speak as if you were there in person. Our team is here to listen to your health history, unique needs, and goals for recovery–so don’t hold back just because your appointment is administered over the computer. We know it’s difficult to not see your spine specialist in-person, but we appreciate you making your health and safety a priority. 

  1. Do Your Homework.

During your telehealth visit, our spine team will ask you many different questions ranging from your past medical history, medications, surgical history, to if you’ve ever had treatment for your neck or back. Having that information prepared ahead of time will streamline the experience and can allow more time for your questions and dialogue with the physician. If you’ve had previous treatment, you can also securely transfer digital copies of diagnostic tests such as x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans of your neck and back into the office prior to your appointment. This allows your surgeon to review the images ahead of time, and even show you what is causing your pain.

  1. Create a List of Questions.

An advantage of telehealth is that you don’t have to remember to bring everything to the appointment with you. We recommend jotting down a list of your questions and concerns and having that with you during the appointment. Remember that this appointment is your customized time with the spine surgeon! This one-on-one time creates a safe environment to clarify any areas where you may need additional information. 

  1. Build a Relationship with your Spine Specialist.

It is important to establish trust and rapport between you and your doctor which doesn’t change with the barrier of technology. We care about your success and that starts with our expertise in listening to your unique needs and goal for recovery. Be sure to open up and share your challenges and symptoms – don’t hold back. The question that failed to be asked is the only “stupid question.” Oftentimes patients feel their questions may be too ‘simple’ or ‘strange’. These questions and concerns help to shape the course of treatment and provide the complete picture for our spine specialized team to then make recommendations for treatment. Let us know what works for you in terms of telehealth resources, and how we can better help you feel more comfortable or informed about your treatment. 

We are here for you during this unprecedented time and have made it easier than ever to schedule a telehealth appointment with our spine specialists. Get started today by contacting our office (703.709.1114) or submit an online request.

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