Make your plan

"My pain, my plan."

Use these tools to help you or your loved one make a plan for safe healing.

Man standing in field with mountains in background

There are better ways to heal.

Asking your doctor a few simple questions can help you learn more about your options—and make a big difference in your healing.

Whether you're getting ready for a surgery, supporting a friend or loved one, or preparing for the unexpected, use these questions to find safe options that work best for your life.

1. Prepare for your doctor visit

  • Is there a friend or family member who can come with you to your appointment to help get you the information you need? If your appointment is online or by phone, ask if your provider can send an invitation to your friend or family member. If your appointment is in person, ask if you can call your friend or family member during your appointment.
  • Do you have concerns about taking pain medication? Have you had a negative reaction in the past year?
  • What are you currently doing to reduce pain?

2. Ask your doctor key questions

  • Are there over-the-counter options or non-opioid medications to manage my pain and help with healing? 
  • Other than taking medication, what are my options for healing and managing pain?
  • Can I have any of my appointments online or by phone? 
  • What are you doing to protect patients from COVID-19 when we need to come into the office?

Don't be afraid to keep asking questions until you clearly understand your doctor's instructions. And don't hesitate to call or email them after your appointment.

3. Questions to ask if you are prescribed pain medicine

  • Can I try a non-opioid medication?
  • Can I start with the lowest dose and fewest pills?
  • Can I stop taking it in three days or less?
  • How can I safely get rid of any leftover medication?

“For short-term, severe pain, they would prescribe Oxycontin. I always resisted taking that because I didn't like how it made me feel.”

Richard relies on rest and ice for any athletic or work-related injuries.