For many people suffering from constant pain, seeing a pain medicine specialist is necessary. Pain Medicine Physicians use a broad-based approach to treat all pain disorders, ranging from pain as a symptom of disease to pain as the primary disease.
What is a Pain Management Physician?
Pain management is a medical specialty that aims to enhance and restore functional ability, decrease pain, and improve quality of life. Pain management physicians diagnose, treat, and manage acute, chronic, and/or severe pain.
Pain management physicians use a broad-based approach to treat all pain disorders, ranging from pain as a symptom of disease to pain as the primary disease.
Who sees a pain management doctor?
People with degenerative back conditions and degenerative neck conditions seek treatment from a pain management doctor. Causes for pain may be acute, like an accident, or chronic, where patients’ pain varies over time. Pain may also stem from herniated discs, arthritis, sciatica, or pinched nerves. Patients who have failed other types of treatments often turn to a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician for more specialized treatment options.
What is the difference between pain management vs primary care physicians?
A pain doctor is a physician with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic pain. Whereas a primary care doctor may be able to treat common aches and pains, a pain doctor’s advanced training allows them to treat pain that is more complex and often hard to diagnose. Pain specialists are trained to evaluate complex pain problems and address each and every one of the factors involved in the situation. Then, they have a wide variety of treatment options to provide comprehensive treatment.
What types of treatment does a pain medicine doctor offer?
Pain medicine physicians utilize a variety of conservative treatments to relieve pain. Here is a sample of methods used:
- Interventional pain techniques. Examples include steroid injections at the site where the pain is being caused, radiofrequency rhizotomy, and PRP injections.
- Minimally invasive surgery. Sano Orthopedics has the best orthopedic surgeons in the area with decades of experience treating tears (rotator cuff, labral, ACL), ligament injuries, and other conditions affecting the body internally that cause chronic pain.
- Physical therapy. Through increasing mobility and promoting physical function, physical therapy can help reduce or eliminate pain and discomfort for several conditions. Exercise, massage, and rehabilitation therapy are the most common forms of PT.
- Non-opioid options. This includes medications such as acetaminophen, anesthetics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Yoga, tai-chi, acupuncture, and heat/ice therapy have also proven to be effective in pain management.
When is it time to see an interventional pain medicine physician?
Some indications indicate it’s time to see a pain medicine specialist.
- You want to stop taking prescription pain medication. Pain physicians employ a variety of treatment solutions that can provide pain relief.
- Your pain won’t go away.
- You have failed a variety of other treatments. If you are still experiencing pain after trying various treatments, a pain management doctor may be able to improve your symptoms with customized and state-of-the-art treatments only available through them.
- If you struggle to perform day-to-day movements and function and cannot source the reason. Pain specialists diagnose the root cause to best create the right treatment plan for you.
Dr. Nick Donohue is a fellowship-trained and board-certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician at Sano Orthopedics. Dr. Donohue primarily focuses on the non-operative management of spine disorders, chronic musculoskeletal pain, and interventional back and neck injections. Dr. Donohue employs a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, vital to helping patients find long-term pain relief.
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