A pain management doctor is someone who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic and temporary pain. These doctors see patients with a wide variety of pain problems and treat them with scientifically backed methods. One of the main benefits of going to a pain management doctor is that it is an outpatient medical facility that offers non-invasive therapies.
Pain and Spine Specialists are a premier pain management practice, with locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Our primary focus is providing excellent pain management care for those with moderate to severe chronic pain to improve their quality of life.
What is a Pain Management Doctor For?
A pain management doctor is someone who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic and temporary pain. These doctors see patients with a wide variety of pain problems and treat them with scientifically backed methods. According to the CDC, approximately 20% of adults (about 50 million) in the United States have chronic pain and 8% of adults (about 20 million) have high-impact chronic pain. Pain, especially chronic pain, can be very debilitating and hinder a person’s ability to enjoy their life or even go about regular daily activities. Seeing a pain specialist can make a huge difference in the levels of pain that people experience or their ability to recover from an injury. Some of the most common types of chronic pain are headaches, post-surgical pain, post-trauma pain, lower back pain, cancer pain, and arthritis.
Why a Pain Clinic?
One of the main benefits of going to a pain clinic is that it is an outpatient medical facility that offers non-invasive therapies, meaning that there are no hospital stays and you can go straight home after treatment. They can be staffed by various medical professionals such as board-certified doctors, licensed nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, physical therapists, licensed acupuncturists, chiropractors, and exercise physiologists. You may also find psychologists or other mental healthcare workers, as chronic pain can often come with mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
By seeing a pain specialist, you will be receiving care that typically avoids surgical and invasive procedures. Your doctor may use complementary therapies to give you the best level of care. These kinds of therapies can be a combination of science-based procedures with massage, chiropractic care, exercise, yoga, acupuncture, meditation, physical therapy, and dietary changes.
What Can a Pain Management Doctor Do for You?
Pain doctors will try to avoid surgery as much as possible and will only recommend it as a last resort. That is because there are certain levels of risk associated with surgery and it is best to mitigate those risks by exploring other treatment options first. Surgery often has a long recovery process and can potentially make the situation worse by causing further damage or an infection can set in. There are also possible side effects of using general anesthesia, even though it is safe and these effects are rare. Some of these side effects are postoperative delirium or cognitive dysfunction, malignant hyperthermia, and breathing problems during and after surgery.
Your pain management doctor can prescribe opioids for pain, but they might prescribe other types of medication, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants. Other forms of treatment might be epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, joint injections, radio-frequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
Generally, when you decide to visit a pain management doctor you will have an initial assessment to determine what kind of pain you have and the best course of treatment. This often involves a physical exam, collecting your medical history, pain assessment, and diagnostic tests (MRI, CT Scan, X-ray, etc.). Your treatment plan will most likely include more than one form of treatment and will try to avoid heavy uses of narcotics (which can have addictive properties). For example, your plan of care may have you seeing a physical therapist to work on pain management through movement-based activities and also seeing an acupuncturist.
Pain and Spine Specialists Can Help
Our offices are staffed with medical professionals who are highly trained and happy to help you with your journey to managing your pain. Our team wants to provide you with quality and effective care and is ready to get started when you are. We believe in your right to safe, accessible healthcare with people who are truly invested in you as an individual, not just as a patient. Our medical director, Dr. Sudhir Rao, was inspired at a young age to pursue medicine and is passionate about this field of medicine. The staff are experts in pain treatment and stay informed on the latest research and therapies in order to give you the best care.
Conditions We Treat
We understand that people experience all sorts of pain and we will work with you to devise a comprehensive treatment plan that is specific to your needs. We treat multiple conditions, including the following:
-Failed Back/Neck Surgery Syndrome
-Vertebral Compression Fracture
Treatments We Offer
Our pain management doctors fully believe in tailoring every individual plan of care to each person’s needs, lifestyle, and level of comfort. With so many different kinds of pain, there are multiple treatment options for you to consider. The core treatments that we offer are:
- Spinal Cord Stimulation: This is a procedure that delivers small electrical signals to the spinal cord through the nerves, to mask the pain signals. A spinal cord stimulator may be an option when other traditional pain management options have not worked.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A noninvasive form of brain stimulation that has shown positive results for treating neuropathic pain such as CRPS and other pain conditions. It is a treatment, where a cap is placed around the head and magnetic pulses are sent out to target specific areas of the brain.
- Vertiflex Treatment: The vertiflex treatment device is a progressive innovation used for lumbar spinal stenosis. Requiring a minimally invasive procedure, a small implant is inserted to restore the space between the vertebrae and lifts pressure from the compressed nerves.
- Medication Management: Managing medication is a critical aspect of treating chronic back pain. Medication management is provided by the pain management specialists monitoring your care to ensure that you are on the right medications, at the appropriate dosage.
- Intrathecal Pump: A small device that administers medication directly, like morphine, directly into the spinal canal. By delivering small doses this way, it can minimize the effects of taking larger doses orally.
- Occipital Nerve Blocks: Performed by inserting a small needle near the occipital nerve and injecting a solution, usually containing a mixture of a local anesthetic and a steroid anti-inflammatory drug.
- Alternative Therapies: For those who would like to try, alternative therapies can be easily integrated with traditional treatments to manage their pain. These therapies can minimize the need for opioid medication for many.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat to minimize and stop pain signals from moving throughout the body. Nerve endings that cause pain are “burned” so the pain signals are not sent to the brain.
- Trigger Point Injections: TPI is a procedure used to treat areas where spasms and inflammation occur in the skeletal muscle. A trigger point injection is delivered directly to the trigger point in the body.
- Epidural Steroid Injections: ESIs are a common treatment for back pain. It delivers anesthetic and medication directly to the epidural space that surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots. Epidural steroid injections numb the spinal nerves and prevent pain signals from being sent to the brain.
- Pulsed Dorsal Root Ganglion Modulation: This is done in the same manner as a spinal cord stimulator, but with a more targeted approach.
Start Getting Treated Now
Our offices are located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and you can quickly set up an appointment today. Give us a call and we will gladly schedule you in to talk with a member of our medical team! Our physicians and psychiatrists are board-certified by the American Board of Neurology, and/or the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the American Board of Psychiatry. So, you will be in the best hands.