What is a Pain Management Doctor?

What is a Pain Management Doctor?

If you live with chronic pain or suffer from an incident where you find yourself in pain, chances are, you’ll be referred to a pain management specialist. 

A pain management doctor is a medical doctor (M.D.) or a doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) who specializes in pain medicine. These doctors focus on the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of different types of pain, including the prevention of pain. 

Pain management doctors often consult with other physicians and health care providers to coordinate individualized patient care. Pain doctors specialize in two different types of pain management:

 

 

Areas of Pain Management

The field of pain management utilizes a variety of techniques. Because of this, pain management doctors have received extensive training and have received certifications in other types of medication. 

 

 

How Does a Pain Management Doctor Treat Their Patients?

Pain doctors use a wide range of techniques and utilize many high-tech options to treat pain. Typically, the treatment style can be categorized into these areas:

Nonsurgical without medication: 

These treatments are usually the first step of any pain management program. Treatments include things like physical therapy, biofeedback, joint manipulation, TENS therapy, massage therapy, mindfulness, meditation, and heating/cooling. 

Pain management with non-opioid medication

With the rise of the opioid epidemic, pain doctors are finding other types of medication to administer that help reduce pain and help their patients live more comfortably with their pain. Some of these medications include over-the-counter pain relievers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and topical ointments. From blocking pain signals to healing nerve damage, taking medications can help patients return to a higher quality of life. These medications are not intended for long term use and should be used under the supervision of a physician. 

Interventional pain management

Interventional pain management (IPM) refers to the use of injectables (nerve blocks) to treat pain. Nerve blocks intentionally block the pain signal from reaching the brain. By ceasing communication from the affected are to the brain, patients are able to find relief from pain. IPM treatments include joint injections, radiofrequency ablation, electrostimulation implants, and epidural steroid injections. 

Frequently, these types of treatments can be done in-office. Interventional pain management techniques are good solutions for patients seeking long-term relief from pain.

Author
Gateway Anesthesia

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