To explore the negotiation of a pain management plan with a patient.


Back pain or back ache is a symptom that can have many causes. It is a common complaint in Australia. Many cases of back pain and sore backs are caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine.  Staying active is often a vital component in the treatment of back pain, yet people who are in pain may be reluctant to engage in physical activity. 

Some people may be unrealistic about what doctors can do to help in situations like this, as often the treatment relies on the patient doing things that are inconvenient or uncomfortable.  A patient may be hoping for a prescription or an operation to get rid of the pain but, if that is not indicated, it will be necessary to negotiate a new plan with the patient.  It is important to do this in a way that increases the likelihood of the patient complying with the new plan.  The best way to do this is to negotiate with the patient, rather than insist on a treatment plan that the patient has little interest in.


Watch this video of a doctor exploring a patient’s history of back pain, discussing the impact on her life, and negotiating a management plan that differs from what the patient originally wanted.


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