The past medical history helps provide insight into the general health of the patient before the onset of his/her current pain as well as determine if the patient has suffered from previous pain issues. The past medical/surgical history includes periods of disability, operations, injuries, and accidents sustained, with their duration, nature, and sequelae recorded. The past medical history provides an opportunity to ensure that pertinent information is not overlooked.
By having a good understanding of an individual's medical history, the physician is able to understand the patient's expectations during the treatment phase. Compared to patients with multiple medical issues, patients with few medical complaints are more likely to improve with effective therapy. In addition, by having a good knowledge of a patient's co-morbidities, a physician can develop a therapeutic strategy which will not jeopardize a patient's health.
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