About Pain Management (Medicine) Specialists
A pain medicine specialist is a medical or osteopathic doctor who treats pain due to disease, ailment, or injury. Many of these doctors are physiatrists or anesthesiologists although called interventional pain management specialists or pain medicine. Pain medicine is a mutlidisciplinary team effort generally affecting specialists in other disciplines, complimentary alternative medicine, along with radiology, psychiatry, psychology, oncology, nursing, physical therapy, and the patient’s primary care physician or other treating doctor.
Education & Training
After graduating medical school and completing a one-year internship, the physician enters a residency program normally in physical or anesthesiology medicine but sometimes from other fields like psychiatry and neurology. Upon conclusion of a residency program (typically 3 years long), the physician completes a one-year fellowship for advanced training in pain medicine.
Many pain medicine specialists are board certified. The organizations that board certify physiatrists, anesthesiologists, neurologists, and psychiatrists all collaborate to provide the board examination for the subspecialty of Pain Medicine. You can find numerous opportunities for pain management specialists to remain current with medical and technical improvements in pain medicine, such as scientific journals and society meetings.
Targets of Pain Management
The goal of pain medicine is to handle severe or long-term pain by reducing intensity and pain frequency. Besides addressing pain problems, a multidisciplinary pain management program may address your functional goals for activities of day-to-day living. Overall, a pain medicine plan aims to give you a feeling of well-being, increase your level of action (including return to work), and reduce or eliminate your reliance on drugs.
Many Kinds of Pain Treated
Pain medicine specialists treat all sorts of pain. Severe pain is described sharp or as acute and may indicate something is wrong. The pain experienced during dental work is an instance of intense pain. Pain lasting 6 months or longer is defined as chronic. This type of pain varies from mild to serious and is consistent. Spinal arthritis (spondylosis) pain is frequently chronic. A good consequence is produced by uniting different treatments regularly although chronic pain is difficult to handle.
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint pain
- Cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis
What to Anticipate During an Appointment
Your appointment with a pain or interventional pain management practitioner is much like other doctor visits. Although there are many similarities, the focus is fast managing it, and on your pain, the cause or contributing factors.
Pain medicine physicians execute a physical and neurological examination, and review your medical history paying particular focus on pain history. You may be asked many questions about your pain
- On a scale from zero to 10, with 10 being the worse pain imaginable, speed your pain.
- When did pain start? When pain started, what were you doing?
- Does pain disperse into other regions of the body?
- Is its intensity persistent, or is it worse at different times of night or the day?
- What really helps to alleviate the pain? Why is pain worse?
- What treatments have you ever attempted? What worked? What failed?
- Would you take over the counter drugs, vitamins, or herbal nutritional supplements?
- Does one take prescription medication? If so, what, how much, and how frequently?
Most pain medicine specialists utilize a standardized drawing of the front/back of the body to let you mark where pain is sensed, as well as indicate pain spread and type (eg, light, sharp). You may be asked to complete the form each time you see with the pain physician. The finished drawing helps you to evaluate your treatment progress.
Accurate Analysis Key to Treatment
Pain medicine includes diagnosing origin or the cause of pain. Making the proper identification may include getting an X ray, CT scan, or MRI study to verify the reason for your neck pr back pain. When treating spine-associated pain (which may include arm or leg symptoms), other tests, like discography, bone scans, nerve studies (electromyography, nerve conduction study), and myelography could possibly be performed. The proper analysis is crucial to some favorable treatment plan.
Some spinal ailments and pain treatment requires involvement of other specialists, such as your primary care physician, neurosurgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, and practitioners in radiology, psychiatry, psychology, oncology, nursing, physical therapy, and complimentary alternative medicine. The pain medicine specialist may consult with and/or refer you to a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic spine surgeon to determine if your pain difficulty necessitates back operation.