Do you suffer from chronic pain, but still see a primary care physician? If so, you’re not alone; many patients see the same primary care physician for their entire adult lives because they feel very comfortable with them and prefer to receive advice from a doctor they trust. However, to truly reap all of the benefits of pain management, it is best to see a doctor trained in your specific area of chronic pain.
What is Pain Management?
Pain management is a branch of medicine that applies science to the reduction of pain. It covers a wide spectrum of conditions including neuropathic pain, sciatica, postoperative pain and more. Pain management is a rapidly growing medical specialty that takes a multi-disciplinary approach to treating all kinds of pain.
Pain management effectively helps thousands of people each year and is an area of concentration that primary care physicians, orthopedists, neurologists and other healthcare providers increasingly rely on for their patients.
What is the Goal of Pain Management?
The goal of pain management is to minimize pain when it cannot be completely eliminated.
With an accurate diagnosis and early intervention, pain management specialists also hope to reduce the severity of pain and improve the quality of life for patients. To achieve these goals, minimally invasive procedures and medications are used.
What Do Pain Management Doctors Do?
Pain management doctors are specialists with a high level of training and experience in diagnosing and treating different types of acute and chronic pain.
Unlike a primary care physician, pain management doctors can perform specialized tests for diagnosing chronic pain conditions, appropriately prescribe and manage medications to unique conditions at varying levels of severity, conduct procedures (like nerve blocks and spinal injections) and coordinate additional care.
While your primary care physician is knowledgeable about a wide variety of health and physical issues, they have not received the same level of training on specific conditions that a specialist has received. In fact, in 2011 only four medical schools in the entire United States included courses that focused solely on pain in as a part of the required curriculum.
To qualify as a pain management specialist in the eyes of the American Board of Medical Specialties, a healthcare provider needs to be a MD with board certification in at least one of the following specialties:
Psychiatry and neurology.
Benefits of Pain Management
The main benefits of seeing a pain management specialist include:
Extensive experience and training in pain management
Access to specialty equipment and treatment options that are highly focused on specific types of chronic pain
The ability to prescribe and manage the types of medications that can help suppress chronic pain
Why Choose Integrated Pain Solutions?
Successfully treating pain requires skill, patience, empathy and education. Everyone on our Integrated Pain Solutions team – doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical assistants – is committed to treating your specific type of pain and improving your quality of life. For more information, please contact us today!