Pain management doctors – physicians who specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of pain – have advanced training that qualifies them as your best source of treatment if you are experiencing any type of pain due to illness or injury.
After a general residency, these physicians undergo an additional one-year fellowship in pain management, and they are board-certified in a specialty, such as sport injuries or cancer pain.
However, most pain management doctors devote their time and expertise to helping chronic pain patients whose needs can sometimes be hard to diagnose and take months or years to treat using multiple therapies.
Pain management doctors most often see patients with pain in the low back, knee, head, hip, and neck. Common conditions treated is these physicians include: arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, sciatica, and more.
But what do pain management doctors actually do?
For one thing, they diagnose the specific cause of your pain and the underlying conditions that lead to it. Take back pain, for example. It could be caused by many conditions ranging from poor posture at your work desk to a herniated disc to a degenerative condition like arthritis.
Once a pain management doctor diagnoses your pain, he or she can find the therapy that works best for you based on their specialized training and the latest research. In fact, pain management doctors often conduct their own trials and studies on patients who haven’t responded to conventional treatments.
Pain doctors often use a wide range of nonsurgical, interventional treatments – along with complementary therapies – as a way of reducing the amount of medication you need to take or to avoid the need for surgery. These may include massage, a weight loss regimen, acupuncture, exercise, yoga, meditation, physical therapy, dietary changes, or chiropractic care.
They may also prescribe pain-killing medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, or antidepressants. Depending on the severity of your specific condition, they may also recommend epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, joint injections, radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation, or neuromodulation. If none of these methods are effective in alleviating your pain, surgery may be an option of last resort.
In any case, your pain management doctor will coordinate treatment between multiple doctors and healthcare professionals. In addition, he or she will continue ongoing care for any physical or mental concerns you may have. In that role, your pain management doctor acts as an advocate dedicated to relieving your symptoms.
To learn more about how a pain management doctor can help you overcome your pain issues, talk to the experts at Pain Specialists of Austin and Central Texas Pain Center. We help patients like you every day. Get the discussion started by calling (855) 876-7246 for an appointment today or request an appointment online.