It is estimated that 20.4% of adults in the United States, or 50 million people, experience chronic pain. Chronic pain is a common reason why people need medical care and can lead to decreased mobility and a poorer quality of life.
If you need help dealing with your chronic pain, finding a pain management doctor can help you! Do you want to learn more about choosing the best pain management doctor in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia?
Keep reading this guide for the top things to consider to find the best pain and spine doctor in Maryland.
Learn About Credentials
When you are looking for a pain management doctor, you must know what credentials and qualifications to look for. This way, you can feel confident that your doctor has the right training, skills, and qualifications to help you with your pain management.
First, you need to find a board-certified doctor. While this is not a necessary qualification for doctors to practice medicine, it shows that they have more expertise and experience in the field.
It's a step that many doctors will take to show that they are up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field.
You should also find a fellowship-trained doctor. During a fellowship, your doctor will work with a specialist to gain even more knowledge and experience within their specialty.
Finding a doctor with each of these credentials will ensure that you are in the best hands possible!
Ask About Experience
Not only do you need to find a doctor with the right credentials, but you should also learn more about their experience in the field.
This will ensure that you find a doctor with experience addressing your specific type of pain. For example, someone who deals with chronic pain from arthritis may need a different type of treatment than someone dealing with chronic pain from nerve damage.
Finding a doctor that has experience treating your type of pain will ensure that you get the most out of your treatment!
Prioritize Comprehensive Treatments
Comprehensive care is something else that is important when you are choosing a doctor.
Comprehensive pain management specialists will be able to determine the source of your pain and can help you identify any other conditions that could be contributing to your symptoms.
No two patients are the same, which means that everyone will have different needs when it comes to treatment. Finding a pain management doctor that specializes in comprehensive treatment will ensure that your treatment is centered around your needs!
It will also ensure that your whole health is considered during your treatment.
Provides Diagnostic Testing
Next, you should find a pain management doctor that provides diagnostic testing for their patients. This is often essential to determine what is causing your symptoms.
Not only should your doctor take your medical history, but they may also need to order blood tests, x-rays, and other types of imaging to get to the bottom of your chronic pain issues!
This way, you can feel confident that you are getting the best treatment.
Offers Patient Follow-Ups
When you are dealing with chronic pain, you must find a doctor that offers patient follow-ups. This is often necessary to check on your progression and to see if your treatment is working properly.
Without these follow-ups, you may not know if you need to make adjustments to your treatment.
Similarly, you may want to find a doctor that offers mental health check-ins. This is because chronic pain is linked to worsened mental health and can be an additional concern for you. These check-ins can help you find the best support for your chronic pain and mental health concerns.
Ask for Recommendations
Something else that can help you find a reliable and qualified pain specialist is asking for recommendations. Because there are so many people that deal with chronic pain, you likely know someone who already receives treatment from a pain management specialist.
Getting word-of-mouth recommendations is an easy way to find a doctor you can trust. Plus, it makes it simple to learn more about their services and treatments before you book an appointment.
You can try asking for recommendations from local friends or family members that deal with chronic pain. You can also ask your primary care doctor or another physician for recommendations! Because they know more about your medical history, they can provide you with the best recommendations.
Learn About Insurance Coverage
Insurance coverage is something that you must consider before selecting a pain management doctor. When you visit a doctor outside of your network, you will have to pay for the treatment completely out of pocket.
This can add a lot of financial stress to your situation and can even make it impossible to afford your treatment. Because of this, you need to find a doctor in your network and know what your insurance covers. Finding an in-network doctor will help you lower your treatment costs!
Talking with your insurance provider is also an easy way to find a preliminary list of pain management doctors. They may provide you with a list of providers that you can choose from to help you narrow down your search.
Still, you must consider other things like credentials, experience, and treatment options.
Read Online Reviews
Reading online patient reviews is something simple you can do to learn more about a pain management doctor. These reviews will provide you with information about the services available, how the doctor treats their patients, and more.
Make sure you read through several reviews to get an accurate understanding of your doctor. This way, you can avoid unnecessary bias!
Reviews can provide you with information about every step of the process. This includes scheduling appointments, the friendliness of the staff, and even the wait times in the office! Simply search for "pain management near me" and start reading the reviews!
Make Sure You Are Comfortable
When you are working closely with a doctor, you must be comfortable with them. When you are comfortable with your doctor, it will improve your communication and make it easier to discuss your needs when it comes to treatments.
You need to feel comfortable being direct with your doctor. This way, you can discuss all of your questions and concerns about your pain management. It will also help you feel more relaxed during your appointments if you have a good relationship with your pain management specialist.
If your doctor ever makes you feel dumb for asking questions, this is a serious issue and you may need to find a new doctor. To learn more about your doctor, it may be best to schedule an initial consultation with them!
This way, you can discuss your treatment needs and have a conversation with your doctor before committing to any treatments.
Learn About Available Treatments
Before selecting a doctor, you also need to learn more about the treatments they offer. This is especially important if you are interested in specific treatments that are not offered in many offices.
There are many different strategies for pain management. These include medication, physical therapy, exercises, and other techniques. Depending on your specific type of pain, your treatment needs will differ.
Make sure you find a pain management doctor that offers the type of treatment that you need.
You may also want to find a doctor that offers telehealth services! When you are dealing with chronic pain, it can be difficult to make it to doctor's appointments. Telehealth appointments will allow you to make fewer trips to your doctor's office to manage your pain.
Prioritize Good Communication
Finally, you must also prioritize good communication when choosing a pain management doctor. As was mentioned before, you must feel comfortable discussing your needs. How does your doctor answer your questions?
Do they welcome questions and answer them clearly? Or do they brush off your questions and make them feel insignificant?
You need to find a doctor that cares about your needs and is willing to communicate with you. This way, they will learn more about your, your treatment needs, and more.
This is also beneficial when it comes to advocating for yourself and your medical needs. A doctor with great communication will care about what you have to say and will respect your health-related decisions.
Looking for a Pain Management Doctor in Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Virginia?
Finding the right pain management doctor is essential if you want to get the best care. Following each of these tips can help you find a reliable and qualified doctor that meets your needs!
Are you looking for a pain management doctor in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland? Pain and Spine Specialists can help! Our pain management doctors will provide you with comprehensive patient care and can help you improve your quality of life.
Contact us today to learn more about our pain management services or to schedule an appointment.