What Is A Pain Management Specialist?

Pain management specialists are doctors that evaluate pain in patients and treat an array of pain issues. Pain management doctors treat pain problems that are sudden like headaches along with various other types of chronic, long-lasting pain, like lower back pain. Patients are typically seen in the “pain clinic” and return home that day. Pain management specialists provide a combination of procedures and medicine-based treatments, to stop pain from its source. If you are looking for a pain specialist then I would recommend Southwest Pain Specialists.

Pain Types Treated By Pain Management Specialists

The pain types that pain management doctors treat fall under three primary groups. The first is a pain type caused by direct tissue injuries like arthritis. The second pain type is caused by nervous system disease or nerve injuries, like a stroke. The third pain type is a combination of nerve and tissue injuries, like back pain.

What Are The Disorders That Cause Pain Due To Tissue Injuries?

Osteoarthritis:

This is a type of wear and tear arthritis in large joints such as the hips and knees.

Rheumatoid arthritis:

This is a type of arthritis caused by autoimmune reactions that are experienced in the smaller joints such as the fingers and wrists.

• Spinal cord injury.

Nervous system disorders or nerve disorders that result in pain.

• Stroke: Post-stroke pain

• Multiple Sclerosis

• Neck pain

• Neuropathy: Nerve pain caused by HIV, diabetes, or shingles.

• Neck pain

• Back pain

• Cancer

• Mixed pain disorder

The Background Of A Pain Management Doctor

Pain management specialists have more than 9 years of medical-based training. They first obtain a “broad education” in a medical school. From here, they gain 4 years of “hands-on training” in fields like neurology, anesthesiology, or physical rehabilitation and medicine. They then complete a final training year, that is solely focused on the treatment of pain.

A More Diverse Treatment Approach

Treating pain typically starts with primary care doctors, which includes only basic physical therapy or medications. However, when it comes to more advanced treatment of pain, you might be referred to a pain management specialist. These doctors have the training and experience to treat patients in a step-by-step manner.

The general first-line of treatment will involve medications such as anti-depressants, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories. Injections are also included to numb the pain such as spinal injections or nerve blockers. Some doctors also use TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators) units that involve pads placed over the skin to deliver a low-voltage electrical current directly to a painful area.

The second line of treatment will involve more advanced procedures like RFA radiofrequency ablation or Visco Supplementation. During RFA, chemical agents or heat will be applied directly to the nerves to block the pain signals. These methods are commonly used for arthritis that affects the spine. Visco Supplementation is injections that involve a lubricating fluid that is injected into the joints. This is a treatment that is also used for pain caused by arthritis. These types of pain also usually involve prescriptions of stronger medications.

The third line of treatment will involve implants with either a spinal-cord stimulator or a pain pump. These treatments are aimed at relieving pain from the point of the spinal cord. This is the control centre of the body which senses pain. Regenerative stem cell treatment is also an option for these stages of pain.

Choosing A Pain Management Doctor

Communication is essential for great patient-doctor relationships. Compassion and medical experience are some of the top characteristics to look out for before choosing a pain management specialist.

What type of qualities should you be looking for in a pain clinic or pain doctor:

• In-depth knowledge when it comes to pain disorders
• Appropriate prescriptions of medications to treat pain problems
• The skills to evaluate patients with very difficult pain problems
• Skilled when it comes to procedures such as pain pumps, spinal injections, and nerve blocks
• A network of other healthcare providers when patients are sent for surgical evaluations, psychological support, and physical therapy
• Treatments that match up to the patient’s belief system and wishes
• Helpful office staff
• Up-to-date equipment