(MOBILE, Ala.) "So, what's going on with your back?"
And with that simple question, Mobile pain specialist Dr. John Couch begins another session with one of his many patients seeking his help for disabling pain.
Sometimes exercise therapy might do the trick.
Very often, Dr. Couch has to employ medicinal pain killers to make the hurt go away, or make it at least, bearable.
If you look at Dr Couch's medicine bag of pain fighters, there is one thing you won't find.
Marijuana. Now there's a move in Alabama to make pot just what the doctor ordered.
On Wednesday, a hearing will be held at the Alabama State House, examining of HB2, a measure aimed at legalizing marijuana for medical use in the state.
The group Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition is organizing the rally-- saying it wants physicians and patients battling cancer, Alzheimer's and other diseases to have the option.
State Representative Pat Todd of Birmingham is one of its vocal supporters.
She says pot can ease the suffering of those hurting from serious illnesses.
"You're going through cancer treatment or you have seizures or MS or anything like that, there's proven medical benefit from the use of marijuana," said Todd.
Not all of Todd's neighbors agree.
"I just don't believe in drugs being legalized, period," said Birmingham resident Douglas Ragland. "And, so, even if it's for medical purposes, I still just have a moral issue with that."
But what of Dr. Couch?
Pot for pain?
"There's not a lot of research that supports that," he said.
Couch says he and his peers are more inclined to believe the drug helps those going through chemotherapy deal with appetite loss and nausea... but for pain?
"At this point, we feel that we have adequate means to treat those problems with those patients suffering with these types of diseases at this point without having to offer full blown support of legalization nationally or federally for marijuana just for medical uses."
The rally in support of medical marijuana happens Wednesday at the Statehouse at noon, with the HB2 hearing to follow.