Ever wondered who pain management doctors are and what they do?
We’ve often found people need to pay more attention to the role of pain management doctors or what they do, and the confusion is actual!
So, to help you with your confusion, here we will discuss who a pain management doctor is, their types, when to see one, and what you can expect (in terms of service).
Often referred to as pain medicine specialists and pain physicians, pain management doctors specialize in various types of pain. They diagnose and perform the treatment.
If you have acute or chronic pain, you should contact these doctors to learn about the medical conditions, injuries, surgeries, or other causes.
Who Are Pain Management Doctors?
Statistics show that estimated 100 million Americans live with chronic pain, making it difficult to get sound sleep and concentrate during their work. This, in all, affects their energy level and fulfillment in life.
A pain management doctor helps you out in these situations. They are also called pain specialists or pain management specialists.They specialize in pain and medicines and have specialized training in evaluating, diagnosing, treating, and preventing different types of pain.
They are responsible for diagnosing the problem, looking for suitable treatment, and caring for pain patients. Pain management doctors usually work with chronic patients who experience the symptoms for over three months or more.
Such doctors study the physiology of pain and conduct specialized tests to diagnose complex conditions.
A pain management doctor could be a
- Surgical specialist
- Occupational Therapist
Types of Pain Management Doctors
We vividly presented the types of pain management doctors. Let’s further understand what they specialize in and their areas of treatment.
Physiatrists specialize in medicine and rehabilitation. They treat patients with injuries and disabilities through physical and cognitive functioning. They perform nonsurgical treatments to cure the pain. The treatment usually includes physical therapies and exercises.
An oncologist is a doctor specializing in treating cancer by providing medical care to cancer patients. Cancer specialists are also known as cancer doctors. They also manage cancer-related pain using medication, procedures, and care.
Surgical specialists specialize in treating the pains of patients by performing various surgeries. They could be a neurosurgeon, heart surgeon, plastic surgeon, or general surgeon. A surgeon is those who do surgeries to eradicate the pain.
A psychiatrist deals with the emotional pain of an individual. They play a role in pain management by helping individuals address the psychological and emotional aspects. They perform therapies and CBT among patients with pain.
Psychologists help in addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of chronic pain. Further, they collaborate with other healthcare professionals to care for individuals suffering from persistent pain. Psychologists perform coping strategies and relaxation training to help you cope with your psychological pain.
Occupational Therapists, also known as (OTs) are healthcare professionals who help patients perform their day-to-day activities. These doctors work with individuals of all ages who might be suffering from various pains like physical, cognitive, sensory, or emotional challenges.
Anesthesiologists are pain management doctors who have specialized training in pain management. They function by performing various pain relieving procedures on their patients. It could cure pain through nerve blocks, injections, or other minimally invasive techniques.
We mentioned some of the most popular pain management doctors and their specialties to provide you with a brief introduction to each of them.
All doctors fall under some specification of pain management doctors depending upon the care and cure they provide.
When to See Pain Management Doctors?
One main reason to see a pain management doctor is when you have pain.
This pain could be a disease or a result of the accident or injuries you had in the past. It’s best to look out for a treatment to eliminate your pain.
We’ve categorized different types of pain below here!
If you’re facing any of these pains, consider seeing a pain management doctor for further treatment.
A chronic condition is pain that persists for over six months. The reason for these kinds of pain could be untreated injury or disease. Further, it could also result from various conditions like fibromyalgia or nerve damage. One very common chronic pain is low back pain. It could be chronic pain if you suffer for more than six months.
It is common for an injury to cause acute pain. These pains are sharp and cause intense pain in the body. A patient can get better after receiving such an injury or disease treatment. Some forms of acute pain could result from a muscle span, burn, bone fracture, or similar accident. Further, some diseases like appendicitis or shingles could cause acute pain.
A problem in your nervous system results in neuropathic pain, also known as nerve pain. It is a pin that one suffers when a nerve signals pain to the brain by mistake, even if not damaged. Diseases like Diabetes, sclerosis, and HIV are the most common causes of these pains.
Nociceptors, also known as nerve cell endings, send pain signals to your brain when you suffer an injury. Such pain occurs when you break a bone, bump your head or pull a muscle. Usually, these pains are sudden and short-lived, but sometimes results last long. It affects your internal organs and causes somatic pain.
For instance, if you’re suffering from pain, you might want to visit a pain management doctor to diagnose the pain and get treatment.
What to Expect From Your First Visit?
Usually, your regular family physician is a person who refers you to a pain management doctor.
We suggest going to a doctor prepared to discuss the kind of pain you’re suffering.
Here we’ve prepared a set of questions for you to be ready with:
- Where are you suffering the pain?
- How long has it been?
- Are you facing any other symptoms involved with the pain?
- How is the pain? Does it feel sharp, dull, achy, burning, tingling, or any other descriptive words?
- Does doing anything make the pain worse?
- Over time, does the pain worsen or get better?
- Is there any medication you’re taking for the pain?
- Have you tried any medication or therapies for the pain before?
Upon knowing the answer to all these questions, the doctor will examine you, discuss your medical history, and perform any additional testing that might be required depending on your situation.
Living with pain is challenging, both physically and mentally. If you’re in pain, seeking medical attention from a pain management specialist is better. If you want the best result, you must be open and honest about your feelings, where the pain is, and if the condition is better or worse.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed because of the pain, you must talk to your doctor. They could offer you additional medication or therapy in that case.