We all suffer pains and aches from time to time. Sometimes it is a headache or stomachache, and sometimes it is neck pain or back pain. Typically, we deal with these pains by going to a supermarket, buying a bottle of over-the-counter pain-killers and taking the recommended dosage. For many, these day-to-day pains are part of life and they learn to work their daily routine around the discomfort. However, the pain becomes a “real pain” when it does not go away easily with rest, tablets, or ointments. This kind of pain is called chronic or long-standing pain. It can be a symptom related to arthritis, migraine, cancer, herniated disc, nerve compression, etc.
If you have chronic pain, you might first consult your family physician and discuss starting prescription pain-relieving drugs. These drugs can give you relief temporarily for a few days. However, chronic pain needs a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause and understand how to best manage the pain. This should be done by a Pain Specialist.
What are Pain Specialists and Pain Management Doctors?
Pain Specialists are experts with a high level of training and education in evaluating, diagnosing and treating different types of pain and its underlying cause. You may be wondering, “How different are Pain Specialists from Primary Care Doctors?” They are very different. Pain Specialists have the expertise to handle and treat chronic pain caused by serious conditions like cancer, amputation, sciatica, etc. which may be difficult for your family doctor to treat. The best thing your primary doctor can do is to refer you to a Pain Specialist if you are suffering from a long-lasting or severe pain.
What Do Pain Specialist Doctors Do?
A Pain Specialist Doctor:
- Advises on advanced tests for diagnosing the underlying conditions
- Prescribes appropriate medications for your unique health issues
- Performs procedures like spinal injections, nerve blocks, radio ablation, ganglion block or joint injections to treat the pain
- Provides additional care including physical therapy or rehabilitation
What are the main benefits of seeing a Pain Specialist?
Pain management is a rapidly growing medical specialty that provides a comprehensive approach towards treating all kinds of pain. It is a branch of medicine that covers a wide spectrum of conditions like sciatica, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, postoperative pain and more. Pain Specialists have been helping thousands of people each year to get rid of their pain. They also assist other specialists like orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, and general surgeons with the treatment or management of pain in their patients. With early intervention and correct diagnosis, Pain Specialists can also reduce the intensity of severe pain and improve the quality of life for their patients.
The main benefits of seeing a Pain Specialist may include:
- Pain Specialists undergo special training to understand the root cause of acute and chronic pain and treat it accordingly. Pain can be a tricky condition to deal with. You may be experiencing pain in your leg, but the cause of pain may lie in your backbone or spinal cord. In such conditions, the Pain Specialist plays an important role. They can find out the root cause and treat it effectively.
- They have in-depth knowledge, extensive training, and experience in using newer medical techniques for treating pain. They can perform procedures like nerve blocks, spinal injections and other interventional techniques to control the chronic pain.
Therefore, if you or your loved one is suffering from some kind of pain which is not relieved through over-the-counter medicines or which is severe, you should consult a Pain Specialist who can put an end to or help better manage your agony!