Millions of Americans live with chronic pain daily. The onset of their pain may occur from a fall, a bad accident, or even a botched surgery. Initially, many patients believe time will lessen their pain. If an individual does not experience a decrease in their pain symptoms, they may reach out to their primary care physician.
Ideally, the PCP will recognize the pain as chronic and will advise the patient to find a specialist. And this is where a pain management specialist comes into play. Patients suffering from chronic pain should have their care managed by a pain management specialist.
The next question is... What to expect from a pain management doctor? And what do they do?
Pain comes in all forms; acute, moderate, severe, and chronic. It is possible for many patients to experience different combinations of pain or even simultaneously.
It is vital for a chronic pain patient to find a physician who understands the complexities of pain and its sources. But what do they do? Pain management doctors identify the source (or cause) of the pain to establish care plans that effectively treat patients.
Pain doctors who can efficiently diagnose the pain and its source are able to determine the most appropriate course of action. They must also take into consideration if there are other underlying health concerns that may be affecting your pain condition. Knowledgable and experienced pain management professionals will determine which interventional pain treatment will be the most effective.
Courses of treatment may encompass physical therapy and yoga, steroid based injection therapy, epidural injections, and prescriptions for pain relieving medications. It is important to note that medication therapy is not restricted solely to opioids. Pain relieving medications can also be non steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s), muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.
Medical providers who manage and treat chronic pain conditions require a specialized medical training with specific focuses. Physicians who treat chronic pain patients have a specialized background in anesthesiology. They also have completed speciality fellowship programs that address pain conditions and concerns. Many physicians engage in programs based in physical rehabilitation and neurology due to the complex nature of pain.
It is critical for pain management physicians to have these standards of education incorporated in their training. This is because of the complex and sometimes nonlinear nature of pain. Physicians who specialize in pain management are also board certified by The American Board of Psychiatry.
The American Board of Neurology, and/or the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. These certifications qualify health care professionals to manage chronic pain.
Now you know what an effective pain management physician is. The next step is to understand what they do for a patient. A knowledgable and skilled pain management specialists will begin by taking a highly detailed medical history.
This will encompass a thorough physical exam which will review any clinical notes from your health care team. It will also review any clinical notes from past procedures or examinations. The pain management provider will then discuss the details with and review your goals. This discussion includes a reviews of treatment options (multiple if applicable) and an honest review of your condition.
A proficient pain management doctor will create an individualized treatment plan for the patient. Treatment plans should be tailored to the patient’s diagnosis and unique needs. The patient-centered plan should focus on providing an ethically safe course of action. This course is designed to mitigated and managed and their pain so that overall health is not compromised.
The pain management doctor will schedule appointments with the patient at regular intervals to provide quality care. The importance of consistent care is paramount. Consistent patient care with your pain management specialist allows the provider to safely manage your chronic pain.
No two treatments for chronic pain patients are the same. Each treatment plan is varied. A chronic pain doctor will be able to identify the most effective plan for managing your pain specifically. Treatments can vary from physical therapy, injection therapy, and medication assisted therapy.
An experienced professional will be able to determine which treatment or combinations of treatments will benefit the patient the most.
Chronic pain has very real physical and emotional ramifications. The relationship between the patient’s physical and emotional state are very much intertwined with their chronic pain. Each of these physical and emotion states need meticulous attention.
Establishing a compassionate and honest rapport with you chronic pain specialist is vital to providing you with effect care. So what should you expect from a pain management center?
You want to feel assured that your doctor is both knowledgable and empathetic to your specific condition. A pain management practice should have skilled and dedicated health professionals who are accessible to their patients. Pain management centers should prioritize in remaining current with research dedicated to the field and providing time for continuing education opportunities. Pain management practices should provide access to innovative and progressive medical therapies for their patients.
And most importantly, you want to feel heard and validated by the physician who manages your chronic pain. Many patients experience anxiety in regards to being taken seriously when discussing their pain with a medical professional.
They fear judgement or simply not being believed. The hallmark of a quality pain management center is their dedication when listening to patients. Chronic pain patients are already suffering from the physical and emotional symptoms. They require a medical provider who can competently and compassionately navigate their health care.
The patient’s pain is real, and should never be met with judgement or condescension. Proficient and empathetic pain management providers understand that each patient deserves to voice their concerns in a safe environment. Patients should feel that their needs are properly advocated for within a pain management practice.
To learn more about what you can expect from a pain management practice you can speak to our dedicated health professionals. Please call our Maryland offices at (301) 703-8767 , our Pennsylvania offices at (724) 603-3560, or our Virginia offices at (540) 433-1905 and let us provide you the support you deserve.
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We are dedicated to the provide the highest quality of patient care and services. We truly have each individuals comfort in mind.
At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.