Chronic pain affects the lives of more than 100 million Americans. And globally, it's estimated that more than 1.5 billion people suffer with chronic pain. People who struggle with constant pain often have trouble sleeping, experience low energy, and find it difficult to concentrate.
The Purpose of a Pain Specialist
A pain specialist is a doctor with a specialty in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating various types of pain. In most cases, a doctor in this field will focus on acute pain, chronic pain, or pain associated with cancer. If a patient is dealing with all three types of pain, then a specialist would be extremely important. Pain Specialists also treat pain caused by diabetes, surgery, nerve damage, and traumatic injury.
Chronic pain is complex. It usually has an underlying cause, but sometimes the cause is unknown. This is why the field of pain management has grown. With chronic pain becoming so prevalent, it’s necessary for some doctors to focus specifically in this area. Physical therapy, rehabilitation, and psychological therapy are also a part of pain management.
When to Seek Help for Pain
Pain management can possibly benefit anyone struggling with severe, acute, or chronic pain. If your pain persists for three months or more, then it’s time to seek help. A specialist will likely know about treatments or medications that can eliminate or reduce your pain.
Some people suffer unnecessarily because they try to self-medicate. Over-the-counter medications and at-home treatments can occasionally relieve pain. However, if home treatment brings little to no relief, then a pain management specialist is a logical choice.
When it comes to insurance, patients may be faced with several obstacles. For instance, an insurer might cover a limited number of physical therapy sessions. The patient will then have to pay for any additional sessions out of pocket. Some insurers require a patient try specific treatments first before they will approve pain management. It is advised to call your insurance carrier and be well informed on what services and providers are covered.
A Pain Specialist is Not a Primary Care Doctor
You will need a referral to see a pain specialist. The referral has to come from your primary care doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, then you’ll need to get one. A primary care doctor differs from a pain specialist. A primary care doctor provides general health care. There are several issues your primary doctor might address. On the other hand, the pain doctor focuses solely on treating pain.
Pain management can possibly provide relief, but it’s not guaranteed. Some treatments fail or worsen the problem. The specialist will discuss your options and the risks involved.
If chronic pain is ruining your life click HERE to contact the Pain Center and discuss your options!