West Virginia is home to some pretty tough people. These communities have foundations of hard work, commitment and resolve. When it comes to injuries, however, that stoic attitude could get in the way of doctors who are trying to help.

If you ever find yourself in a medical situation, especially if you feel like you may not need to be there, you could end up inadvertently withholding information necessary for a complete diagnosis. Here are some tips for communicating with doctors — even if you are the last person who would ever complain.

Start early

You will probably want to start recovery as early as you can. That is especially true when it comes to injuries that are difficult to identify, such as those that cause back pain. The more information your medical provider has, the easier it is for therapy to start. Try to tell your doctor everything during your first consultation, even if you have:

  • Worse problems, such as severe injuries somewhere else
  • Pain you think is not that bad
  • Discomfort rather than pain

Set a baseline

Being completely open is hard. However, sharing how you feel at the beginning of treatment — starting from your first consultation — could make a major difference in how well your doctors understand your case.

The reason is simple: Care providers use your first responses as a baseline to gauge how your injuries are changing. This helps them decide which treatments are working, which injuries you might have and other important elements of your medical care. Your initial medical report may also be an important element of any legal action regarding an injury that you decide to pursue.

Be a fighter

The fact is that anyone trying to put their lives together after a debilitating injury is already a hero. It is hard work to get better — so please do everything possible to make your long-term recovery easier on yourself and your doctors.