A pain specialist is a medical or osteopathic doctor that treats pain caused by disease, disorder, and trauma. Also known as interventional pain management specialists, these doctors are often anesthesiologists or physiatrists.
Pain medicine involves multi-disciplines and team effort with a patient’s primary physician, other doctors, and specialists in radiology, psychiatry, oncology, nursing, chiropractic/physical therapy, alternative medicine, etc.
Education and Training
Upon completion of medical school and a one-year internship, the specialist enters a residency program in anesthesiology, physical medicine or other fields like neurology. Upon residency completion, the doctor completes a one-year fellowship for advanced training in pain medicine.
Pain medicine specialists continue medical training and education throughout their careers.
Pain Management Goals
Pain medicine is aimed at managing acute or chronic pain through pain frequency and intensity reduction and ultimately alleviation.
Multidisciplinary treatment programs are utilized to address functional goals and normal day to day chores and activities.
A pain treatment plan’s goal is to regain well-being, increasing your level of activities like returning to work, school, etc and eliminate medication dependency.
Pain Types & Treatment
Specialists treat all types of pain.
- Acute pain is severe/sharp and can signal something is wrong.
Touching a hot stove or slamming a finger in a door are examples of acute pain.
- Chronic pain lasts 6 months or longer.
This type varies from mild to severe and is constant.
Spinal arthritis (spondylosis) is an example of chronic pain.
It can be difficult to manage, but combining a variety of treatments can show positive results. The pain types include:
- Degenerative disease
- Facet joint pain
- Cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis
- Vertebral compression fracture
An appointment consists of
These are like most medical visits. The focus is on the pain, the cause, what factors are contributing, and creating an optimal treatment management plan.
- A physical examination
- Neurological examination
- Review of medical history particularly pain history.
Questions can include:
- From zero to 10, 10 being the worst, where’s your pain at?
- When did it start?
- What were you doing when it started?
- Does it spread or radiate out other areas of the body?
- Is the intensity constant?
- Is it worse at different times of the day or night?
- What helps relieve the pain?
- What worsens the pain?
- What types of treatments have you tried?
- Did it work and to what degree?
- Do you take and what types of, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements?
- Do you take prescription medications?
A drawing of the body could be used to mark where the pain is felt, as well as indicate pain spread and type.
Diagnosing the cause of pain is paramount to creating the proper management treatment plan. If the wrong diagnosis is made and the wrong treatment is initiated it might exacerbate the condition and/or create new injuries.
This can mean getting:
- CT scan
These imaging types help confirm the origin of the pain. When treating spine pain, arm, leg and foot symptoms may also be present. Therefore the correct diagnosis is essential to a successful treatment plan.
Spinal disorder pain treatment usually involves other specialists, like a primary care physician, neurosurgeon, orthopedic surgeon, radiologists, oncologists, nurses, chiropractors, physical therapists, and alternative medicine practitioners.
We focus on what works for you. We also strive to create fitness and better the body through researched methods and total wellness programs. These programs are natural and use the body’s own ability to achieve goals of improvement, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, surgery, or addictive drugs.
We want you to live a life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, less pain, proper body weight, a healthy diet and educated on how to maintain this way of life. I have made a life of taking care of every one of my patients.
I assure you, I will only accept the best for you…
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If you have low back pain or have had it, you are not alone. Experts estimate that around 80% of people will experience some type of back problem at some point in their lives. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 lists low back pain as the number one cause of disability worldwide. The good news is the majority of back pain is mechanical in origin or is not organic.