Pain Management Specialist Questions and Answers
Pain is experienced by every single person at some point in their life. It comes in many different forms, from sharp, stabbing pains, to searing, burning pain and everything in between. If we did not feel pain, we would not know if we were injured, which would lead to much more serious complications. However, pain can be chronic and excruciating, so learning how to manage it is important for a good quality of life.
What conditions do pain management doctors treat?
Pain management specialists are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage pain caused by chronic disease and a range of other painful disorders. A pain medicine doctor cares for the health needs of people with both chronic pain and acute pain. Pain as we know it is complex and covers a wide spectrum of conditions, so pain management doctors specialize in both the mental and physical aspects of pain management. A pain management specialist may treat the following conditions and diseases:
- Acute pain caused by illness, injury, or surgery
- Arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout
- Back conditions including degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis, sciatica, scoliosis, whiplash, vertebral compression fractures, and post-laminectomy syndrome or failed back surgery (chronic pain following back surgery)
- Burn pain caused by third-degree burns which include the onset of pain caused by healing
- Cancer pain including pain from growing tumors and cancer treatment
- Headaches including migraine headaches, cluster headaches, and tension headaches
- Muscle and connective tissue pain disorders including fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, tendonitis, bursitis, repetitive stress injuries, and myofascial pain (pain from damage to the fascia tissue surrounding muscles and organs)
- Nerve pain including trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain), diabetic neuropathy, phantom limb pain, postherpetic neuralgia (pain following shingles), complex regional pain syndrome, and central pain syndrome
- Sports injury pain including sprains, strains, deep bruises, dislocations, and fractures
- Vascular disorders including vasculitis
What does a pain management specialist do?
Chronic pain is pain that has lasted longer than three months and shows no sign of improvement. Typically, you would see a pain management specialist for pain that persists even though your care may have originally started with at-home remedies or seeing your primary care physician.
Here are a few examples of additional types of pain managed by pain management specialists:
- Neck pain
- Arm or leg pain
- Abdominal pain
- Pelvic pain
- Pain due to a failed surgery
- Pain due to cancer
What should I expect at my first pain management appointment?
During your first pain management appointment, you may be asked to fill out important paperwork about your health, pain location and levels, and family health history. A pain management doctor will review this information and perform a physical examination.
During this examination, you should provide as much information about your health and pain as possible. Things to consider are:
- Past and current treatments
- Prior surgeries or procedures
- Medications you are taking
- Any relevant x-rays or diagnostic images you have
- What makes the pain worse or better
To get a better idea of your condition and source of pain, your doctor may order tests. Some tests include:
- CT or CAT scans
- Nerve conduction studies
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Blood tests
If you or someone you know is experiencing acute or chronic pain, come to American Pain and Wellness! Our team of professional and caring staff have the ability to help you manage your pain and live a balanced life. Contact our office to talk with an expert today. To schedule an appointment at our clinic, visit us online or give us a call!