There are many different kinds of pain and many different causes of pain. There is chronic pain due to conditions like arthritis, diabetes, or back injury, and acute pain caused by fractures, trauma, and inflammation. Pain may be a result of some combination of all of these. Treatment and pain management strategies must be personalized because each individual case in unique.
What is pain management?
Pain management doctors specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of pain. The causes of pain can be complex and include injury, age, nerve damage, metabolic problems, and even surgery. Pain managements doctors use a number of new technologies and methods to evaluate and treat pain. They use a multidisciplinary approach to pain management.
Most people who see pain management physicians are referred by their primary care provider. They can also be referred by other specialists like back, knee and joint doctors, neurologists, and cancer specialists.
Choosing a treatment
Pain management physicians begin by evaluating each patient’s specific problem and condition. The evaluation can include a detailed medical history, physical exam and tests. The specialists may also review the results of imaging tests like studies X-rays, CAT scans, or MRI scans. All of these are taken into account when devising a plan for treatment and management.
Treatment can include medication, exercise, physical therapy, surgery, and alternative medicine treatments like acupuncture and massage therapy. Medications may be taken internally or locally applied through ointment and patches. Surgery and injections may also be used to treat chronic pain.
How to find a specialist
The best way to find a specialist to treat your condition is to look for a physician who has experience with the kinds of problems you are facing. Both training and experience in that particular field will help the specialist to find the right treatment and pain management strategy for your condition. You should also ask about their approach, and whether they recommend alternative pain relief treatments.
Professionally, specialists complete their education in pain management with a fellowship, following graduation from medical school and residency. Fellowships may relate to anesthesiology or neurology and physical medicine and rehabilitation programs. After completing their education, board certified physicians can gain subspecialty board certification in the field.
Pain is a complex phenomenon with many different causes. Pain management strategies are individualized to take into account the specific condition of each patient.