A pain management doctor operates most often from specialized pain clinics. The pain management doctor will coordinate a comprehensive, team-based, and holistic approach to manage and treating your pain. This team approach is the best way to diagnose the cause of your pain and find treatments that work.
Your pain management timeline will vary depending on your condition, but most patients can expect to go through these steps:
- Diagnose the cause of your pain
The most important step in pain management is to find the right diagnosis. A pain management doctor can determine the diagnosis from a patient’s signs and symptoms, physical examination, additional examinations (x-ray, CT-scan, MRI, etc), even perform diagnostic minimal invasive procedures such as test injections.
- Discuss potential therapies that could help
After diagnosing your pain, a pain management doctor will review available therapies for your condition and discuss the one that works best for you. All the risks and benefits of any procedure or therapy can be considered at this stage.
- Coordinate care between multiple healthcare professionals
The process of pain management can involve more than one doctor. The pain management doctor will coordinate care with other specialty doctors to serve the patient’s best interest.
- Performs any necessary interventional procedure
A pain management doctor also has special training to perform minimal invasive procedures, which could be perhaps an injection at the source of pain, usually with ultrasound or fluoroscopy guidance.
Interventional treatments may include:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Nerve blocks
- Joint injections
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Continues ongoing care
Unfortunately, chronic pain commonly won’t disappear after a single therapy and may require ongoing care. A pain management doctor will monitor your progress and ensure you receive the necessary ongoing care.