If you are suffering from pain that is ongoing, with or without a known cause, you may be referred to a pain management specialist or clinic. These specialists have advanced training in evaluating and diagnosing pain, as well as advanced treatments that may be needed to help you manage the pain you have.
How These Specialists Differ
Pain management specialists differ from other doctors due to their skill sets and training. These doctors are trained in the complexities and physiology of different types of pain to provide better treatment. They have the knowledge needed for proper evaluation of the cause of your pain, which allows them to choose the appropriate tests and treatment options that may be available.
Pain specialists also have advanced knowledge of how to prescribe pain medication in the most effective ways for better results. Their training also focuses on the skills and proper techniques needed for advanced pain management, such as spinal injections and nerve blocks. These specialists are educated in the areas of physical therapy, rehabilitation, and psychological counseling, that may be required in the treatment of chronic pain.
Choosing a Pain Management Specialist
If you are suffering from chronic pain, you will either be referred to a particular clinic by your current physician, or you will need to choose one on your own. Whether you have been referred or not, you should always verify that the specialist or clinic you choose has experience in treating your type of pain. You should also make sure that you look for doctors that have earned their board certification to ensure you receive the best care.
You will also need to ask questions about any center or clinic you are interested in using. The best options are those that have relevant experience in treating your pain, and use a variety of options in treatment. There are some pain management specialists who focus on specific procedures for relieving pain, while others utilize a variety of treatment options to ensure long term results.
When you first visit a pain management specialist, you will need to provide in-depth information about your pain and its history. You will also undergo a physical exam during the appointment. The doctor will also want to go over previous tests and treatments to determine whether other tests are needed, and will request that you bring any imaging or X-ray results that you have.
In some cases, you may undergo further testing or imaging during your initial visit. If this will be required, this information will be provided when you schedule you appointment to allow you to make arrangements if you will be unable to drive afterwards.
During your initial visit, the doctor will go over the pain you have, and the possible treatment options available. He or she will provide their recommendations on the best course of action, and explain how the pain management process will work. While you may not see any immediate relief during your first visit, you will have the information you need to proceed to the next step in managing your pain.