What to Expect From Your Pain Management Physician
by AZ Pain Doctors, on Oct 27, 2021 1:23:00 PM
When you're having skin problems you see a dermatologist. When you're having vision issues, you see an ophthalmologist. So why have you been trusting a general practitioner instead of a pain management specialist to treat your pain?
A pain management physician is an expert in diagnosing and treating all types of pain. So, if you have been struggling with pain and found no relief, it's time to make an appointment at a pain management clinic.
This article will give you more information on pain management doctors including who they are, why they are unique, and what you can expect from their services.
What Is a Pain Management Physician?
A pain management doctor can diagnose signs and symptoms of pain and pain-related conditions. Once they determine the underlying cause of the problem, they use a number of techniques including physical therapy and medication to treat patients.
They treat acute (short-term) pain such as an injured back and they treat chronic (long-term) pain such as sciatica. Pain management doctors treat pain that comes from muscles, nerves, and joints.
A pain management doctor is different from a primary care doctor because they have training and experience in pain-related conditions. They have unique knowledge and skills that other doctors don't have. If you have been dealing with pain and nothing seems to be working, consider a pain management doctor.
Your First Visit
Are you preparing for your first visit with a pain management doctor? Here is what you can expect:
First, the doctor will ask you to describe the pain you're having. Where does it hurt, how intense is the pain, how often does it hurt, etc. He or she may also ask about what you have tried already to reduce pain.
It helps to prepare for your visit by taking down a few notes about your pain or keeping. pain journal. If you notice that certain activities make the pain better or worse, write it down. Then, share it with your doctor during that initial discussion. The more information you can give them, the better they will be able to help you.
Once you are done discussing symptoms, the doctor may conduct a series of tests. Testing could include anything from a movement screening to an MRI. The exact tests will depend on your symptoms and the doctor's advice. After testing, the doctor will walk you through each step of your treatment plan.
The treatment plan can consist of a combination of medication, exercises, and other lifestyle changes. The pain management doctor may ask you to schedule one or more follow-up appointments based on your condition. Remember to ask any relevant questions you have during your visit. The doctor is there to help you!
Types of Treatment
As mentioned above, pain management doctors will use different types of treatment based on the patient's pain and/or diagnosis. The first line of treatment may be the use of medication (i.e., anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers). Baseline pain medications may be appropriate for acute pain from an accident or injury but they are not a long-term solution to pain.
A pain management doctor can also recommend yoga, stretching, or physical therapy exercises to reduce pain and increase mobility. They might also recommend diet and exercise changes to promote faster healing.
Other early treatment options include interventional pain management such as spinal injections or nerve blocks. These treatments work by blocking pain signals to the brain.
Finally, a pain management doctor can use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators (TENS) to create an electrical current through the affected area. This process involved skin pads attached to the skin.
For more advanced pain management, doctors can use radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or viscosupplementation. RFA uses heat or chemicals to interrupt the signal between the body and brain. Viscosupplementation involves an injection of fluid into affected joints to reduce pain. RFA and viscosupplementation are often used for patients with arthritis-related pain.
The last stage of pain management treatment is either stronger medications (opioids) or an implant (pain pump/spinal cord stimulator). If the devices can interrupt the pain signal, the patient can inexperience long-term relief from pain.
Over the last few decades, the United States developed a serious opioid addiction and overdose problem. Pain management specialists are becoming less likely to prescribe opioids if they can find a safer, viable solution. If you are struggling with opioid addiction, seek help.
Treatment for pain is highly personalized. What works for one person may not work for another. The job of a great pain management doctor is to create the right treatment plan for your individual needs.
When to See a Pain Management Doctor
In some cases, a primary care doctor will refer his or her patient to a pain management doctor. In other cases, it's up to the patient to ask for a referral or to seek out a pain management clinic.
If you have recently been in an accident or have an injury that is causing you pain, a pain management doctor can help. If you have arthritis, chronic back pain, or any other type of long-term pain condition, you should see a pain management doctor. And if you have tried several solutions to manage pain without success, that's another reason to contact a pain management doctor.
Before scheduling an appointment, check the conditions that the doctor treats and the types of treatments they use. You can also check whether the doctor accepts your health insurance to make sure the treatment is affordable.
Meet the Best Pain Management Doctors
At AZ Pain Doctors we have experienced pain management physicians to help you return to a pain-free life. So whether it's acute pain from an injury or chronic pain from arthritis, we will work with you to find a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle.
When you're ready to make an appointment, contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!