If you suffer from chronic pain, you’ve probably already seen and started treatment with your primary care physician. Many chronic pain patients have been seeing the same primary care doctor for their entire lives and feel very comfortable with them. However, the best thing your primary care doctor can do for your chronic pain is refer you to a pain specialist. To truly achieve long-term pain relief, it is best to see a doctor trained in managing and treating chronic pain.
What do pain management doctors do?
Pain management specialists undergo a high level of training and experience in diagnosing and treating all types of acute and chronic pain. There is a great deal of difference between what pain management doctors and what your primary care doctor can do for your chronic pain.
A pain specialist can –
- perform specialized tests for diagnosing chronic pain conditions
- appropriately prescribe and manage medications to unique conditions with different levels of severity
- conduct interventional procedures, such as nerve blocks and spinal injections
- coordinate additional care, including physical and psychological therapy or rehabilitation, to help you obtain long-term relief
Benefits of Pain Management
While your primary care physician knows about a variety of health issues, they have not specifically trained in treating pain.
On the contrary, pain management doctors undergo additional residencies, internships and fellowship training, after medical school, to treat chronic pain. The additional training deepens their knowledge of chronic pain and the interventional procedures, they are experts in, help to reduce suffering and improve quality of life.
The biggest benefits of seeing a pain management specialist include –
- extensive experience and training in pain management
- access to specialty equipment and treatment options, especially focused on specific types of chronic pain
- can prescribe and manage the types of medication that can help relieve chronic pain
- pain specialists work with you to create a customized treatment plan for your specific condition and severity