If you experience muscle cramps and spasms, you know how painful and disruptive they can be. Most don’t require medical attention and can be managed at home. In some cases, however, muscle cramps can be debilitating and have a significant impact on quality of life, or they may be an indication of an underlying health problem, such as nerve compression.

This is why getting regular check-ups is important, especially if you experience frequent or severe muscle cramps and spasms. Follow these tips to prepare for your next appointment.

Before Your Appointment

  • Track your symptoms: Tracking the date, time and severity of your muscle cramps and spasms can help your doctor see a pattern and possibly identify the cause. You can use a journal, your phone or online tools like Flaredown to help you with this.
  • Review your family history: Have any new conditions or diseases occurred in your close relatives since you last saw your doctor? If so, let your doctor know, as certain conditions and diseases can cause muscle cramps and spasms, and you may be at risk.
  • Write down everything: Make a list of your current medications, including dosages and frequency. Hundreds of prescription drugs, including statins and diuretics, can cause muscle cramps as a side effect.
  • Also write down any goals and questions you want to discuss, such as, “What can I do to manage and prevent muscle cramps and spasms?” Check out these 10 questions for doctors to get a few more ideas.

The Day of Your Appointment

  • Bring your insurance card and photo ID.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early to fill out any paperwork.
  • Bring everything you tracked and made note of, like symptoms, family history, medications and questions.

Most importantly, make sure you understand the answers, information and treatment plan your doctor provides to you—ask for educational materials if you need them. Be your own advocate! By being prepared for your appointment, your doctor can cover all of the important points, and you can leave feeling confident in managing your muscle cramps and spasms.

To help you prepare for your next appointment, fill out and bring in our downloadable doctor visit checklist and discussion guide.