What Does A Pain Doctor Do?
What does a pain doctor do? These highly-trained and highly-specialized doctors diagnose conditions, coordinate treatment, and provide ongoing care for pain patients. They work most often with chronic pain patients who have experienced symptoms for three months or longer. Let’s take a look at how pain management doctors provide this level of care, what you can expect during your first visit, and how to find pain doctors near you.
What is a pain doctor?
The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) defines a pain management doctor as: “a physician with special training in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all different types of pain.”
Pain doctors have advanced training that makes them a better fit if you suffer from pain. While your primary care doctor can and should help in some cases, for advanced types of pain they’ll likely refer you to a pain doctor. A pain doctor has gone through an additional one-year fellowship in pain management after their residency.
A pain doctor may treat pain related to acute sports injuries. Or, they can work with patients afflicted with cancer pain. Most, however, work with chronic pain patients. Pain is considered chronic if it’s lasted for three or more months. This type of pain can be hard to diagnose, require multiple therapies to treat, and take months or years to treat. However, some pain patients will require care throughout their life.
The most common types of conditions that a pain doctor treats include:
- Lower back pain
- Knee pain
- Head pain and migraines
- Hip pain
- Neck pain
- Nerve pain
So, what does a pain doctor do? They treat pain. But the complexities of pain make this a much more specialized area of healthcare than that simple answer lets on.
What does a pain management doctor do?
Your pain management timeline will vary depending on your condition, but most patients can expect to go through these steps:
- Diagnoses the cause of your pain
- Discusses potential therapies that could help
- Coordinates care between multiple healthcare professionals
- Performs any interventional procedures
- Continues ongoing care for mental and physical concerns
Should I visit a pain management doctor?
When should you visit a pain doctor?
- If pain is ruling your life or limiting the amount of activities you can engage in
- You’ve tried at-home or natural therapies to relieve your pain and haven’t found relief
- If your primary care doctor hasn’t been able to diagnose the cause of your pain
- Your pain has lasted for three months or more
- You have any severe or debilitating types of pain
If you find yourself in any type of debilitating pain, you need to get yourself specialists that can provide you with the proper treatment. Don’t allow yourself to be in pain any longer.