How to Choose the Best Doctor for Your Pain Treatments
If you suffer from chronic pain and have never sought treatment from a pain management specialist, choosing the right physician can be challenging. Unless you know a friend or family member in pain who can tell you of their personal experiences with their own pain doctor, it’s really a guessing game as to where you should turn for relief.
Everyone must start somewhere, and physicians are no exception. But while a doctor who is ‘fresh out of college’ may have the knowledge and expertise required to effectively treat your pain, choosing a doctor who has been practicing for a longer period of time will ensure that you benefit from years of real-world expertise that can mean the difference between guessing or recognizing your particular pain condition.
Education / Background
There are many types of physicians, and many of them have more than one specialty. But for those living with chronic pain, your pain physician should first be board-certified in pain medicine / interventional pain management, and may also have certifications in anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, among other sub-specialties.
Even if a pain physician has the above certifications, you’ll also want to ensure that their specialty relates to your type of pain. For instance, if you experience low back pain, you’ll want to locate a pain doctor who specializes in back pain treatments for patients, among others.
Getting to Know Your Pain Management Physician Before Scheduling Your Consultation
Once your research produces potential candidates for your consideration based on the checklist items above, you’ll still want to learn as much as you can about the physician prior to making a final determination. Any pain clinic worth its salt will have physician bios posted on their website, so that you can get to know the pain doctors before you meet in person. Reading as much as you can about any final candidates gives you the opportunity to get to know them better and may help you determine whether they’ll be a good fit for your needs.
Tips for Choosing the Right Pain Treatment Program
Coping with pain can be a difficult challenge, especially when it begins to interfere with your ability to lead a normal life. Chronic pain from an illness, injury or surgery can become both physically and psychologically debilitating, leading to a breakdown in your interpersonal relationships and your ability to perform your job and other day-to-day tasks. If youíre suffering the consequences of intense chronic pain, a pain management treatment program can put you back on track to living the life you once had.
Pain treatment programs provide various forms of treatment to help you minimize and manage your pain. These treatments include medications, therapies, mind-body techniques, counseling and physical health regimens. For those who don’t want to use prescription painkillers for fear of developing an addiction, these programs often offer holistic care and all-natural treatments. They also teach coping strategies that are equally powerful alternatives to medicate-based treatment.
What type of pain do they treat? Different types of pain are caused by different conditions, and each condition requires specific expertise. Not every pain treatment program will be equipped to properly handle your specific needs. Ask about the program’s expertise regarding your type of pain and the condition that caused it.
Do they offer comprehensive treatment? A multidisciplinary approach is the most effective way to combat chronic pain. Make sure the program provides a combination of pain treatments that include the following: group therapy, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, biofeedback training, TENS units, family counseling, aftercare, etc.
Is the program inpatient or outpatient? Each person’s individual needs will determine if inpatient or outpatient care is needed. If you need to undergo detoxification from prescription painkillers, inpatient care is recommended. Otherwise, the choice between inpatient and outpatient care will be up to you and your doctorís recommendation.
How To Choose the Right Pain Specialist
With almost one in five American adults experiencing chronic pain, it is hardly surprising that there is so much demand for pain specialists. That is, at least in part, why there are an increasing number of health care professionals who have assumed the title of “pain specialist.” Many of these pain specialists may have some medical training in the field of pain management, but this training isn’t always sufficient to qualify them as a pain medicine specialist.
The Field of Pain Medicine
The specialty of pain medicine arose relatively recently, but, of course, it has origins that go back to the creation of medicine. Pain medicine as a medical specialty started in the 1960s, followed in the 1970s with an international professional association. In 1991, the American Board of Anesthesiology created a certificate of added qualification in pain management; that same year, the American Board of Pain Medicine was established.
The discipline of pain medicine is focused on the prevention of pain as well as the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of people in pain. Pain physicians obtain specialized training in pain as a symptom of other health conditions in addition to pain as a disease in itself.
Primary Care Versus Specialty Medicine
When considering the kind of medical professional to treat your chronic pain, the first choice should be between a primary care doctor or a pain specialist. In most cases, you have probably been obtaining care for your pain from your primary care physician since the onset of your pain symptoms, but you may find that a pain specialist is a better option if
Pain becomes chronic—the definition of chronic pain is any pain condition like arthritis, back pain or neuropathy that lasts longer than three months. If you reach the three-month mark without any pain relief, you should request a referral to a pain specialist.
No underlying cause—if your primary care physician can’t find a health condition that is causing the pain, you may need the advanced diagnostic skills of a pain specialist. It may be that there is a condition that your primary care physician is missing, or that the pain itself is the primary condition; in either case, you are probably more likely to find relief with a specialist.
If you are only on opioids—many primary care physicians have a limited understanding of pain and pain management, so they resort to opioid medications as the default treatment for any pain condition. This is a flawed approach, as chronic pain requires a holistic strategy and an opioid-only plan poses serious risks to the patient.
Your only option is surgery—if your doctor is recommending a risky procedure without any alternatives, then you should explore your options with a pain specialist. Because pain specialists have broader knowledge of the latest pain therapies, they may be able to offer you some more palatable options.
Tips When Choosing A Pain Management Specialist
Pain in the body can be devastating. The different types of pain are caused by several reasons and, therefore, different management approaches are needed. Pain experts have enough experience to deal with all pains related to muscles and poor alignment of bones. Prizm offers the best pain management specialists in Canton, MI and you can visit their website to see more of what they offer. When choosing such an expert consider the following tips.
Tips when choosing a pain management specialist
Pain specialists use non-intrusive therapies to treat various pains. They perform a thorough check to the patient and come up with the best way to deal with such pains. Therefore, a high level of expertise is needed before any practitioner can start working. This includes studying the human anatomy, causes of various pains and how to solve them through different safe and natural ways. These skills help them to be accurate when dealing with pain patients who are delicate and emotionally affected. Any mistake can cause severe damage to the situation at hand.
Ability to handle different people with care
Endless pain can happen to anyone at all ages. However, the elderly people experience pains more often due to many complications which come with old age. Therefore, the pain specialist needs to have patience and excellent customer care qualities to handle the aged. Emotional support is part of healing the physical pain, and this is what the old needs. Other people also need same care when handling them since physical pain may bring an inability to move or perform tasks.
With today’s technological advancement, pain relief centers have embraced state of the art equipment and medication to allow them to handle pain more accurately. Better and advanced scanners can help identify the exact cause of pain and thus treating it will be faster and with better results. Apart from equipment better medications facilitate faster healing and fewer side effects. Therefore, one must ensure that the centers they choose for pain must be well equipped.
Pain relief therapies to do not take overnight to work. Some need many sessions of treatments to have a painless body. If possible, it is better to have such a facility as near as possible. Movement, especially long journeys makes the pain worse. Therefore, consider the locality of the center you choose.
CHOOSING A PAIN MANAGEMENT TEAM
A pain management team is a group of individuals, both health professionals and others with community and education expertise, who will assist in maximizing your quality of life. This help can take the form of physical therapy, prescription of medications, cognitive therapy, education about pain and its management and support to live better with pain. The health team will likely comprise: pain medicine specialists and GPs, physiotherapists, psychologists, nurses, etc and others in your support team could be: pain support group facilitators, Pain Link guides, APMA pain management educators and each will have a different role to play in your care.
Choosing who will best fill each role can be difficult and if you are not comfortable with the way a doctor or therapist communicates with you or treats you, try to discuss this with them, and if you remain unhappy try someone else. Remember that each member of the team should be someone whom you trust and feel comfortable with, and should believe that you are in pain, considers your concerns seriously, and encourages open discussion of your problem.
General practitioner –
Your GP is usually your main health care provider and he/she will be your first point of contact. Your GP will communicate with other members of your health care team and, where appropriate, will refer you to a specialist clinician or surgeon depending on the cause of your pain.
Specialist clinicians –
Specialist clinicians involved in the management of chronic pain include Pain Specialists, Neurologists, Rheumatologists and Psychiatrists
Specialist surgeons – Specialist surgeons involved in the management of chronic pain include Neurosurgeons and Orthopaedic surgeons,