For patients considering visiting a pain specialist for the first time, there are many questions that need to be answered. Confusion about what a pain specialist is and what the process of treatment involves is very common - fortunately, curing pain is nowhere near as daunting as it may seem. If you are informed and prepared before your first appointment, visiting a pain specialist to alleviate your pain will be a breeze. Below are some of the most common questions patients have before their visit.
What Pain Can a Specialist Treat?
Pain specialists can treat all types of pain - whether the pain stems from an acute pain associated with your spine or a chronic pain condition. Most commonly, pain specialists will treat chronic joint pain, cancer pains, or arthritis pain. Pain physicians will also often work alongside other doctors on your medical team to create a comprehensive plan of treatment unique to you.
How Often Will You Need to Visit a Pain Specialist?
How often you will visit depends on your course of treatment. If all you need is refills of medication, your appointments may only be as necessary to write them. If you require nerve blockers, you may need up to three injections to provide significant relief. Other treatments will have different intervals of care that your doctor will decide on for you. Your medical history and other medications can also influence how frequently you see the specialist.
What Will Treatment Be Like?
At your first visit, the specialist will review your medical information. You can expect a physical assessment, and testing or X-rays may be required. This will help your physician to decide the best treatment for you. Treatment may include medication, physical therapy, injections, nerve blocks, implanted devices or surgery. The doctor may also suggest a complementary method like laser therapy to assist in alleviation of pain. Any following appointments will review how effective your treatment has been, perform any needed procedures, and, as needed, address any changes to your health.
What Should You Know Before Your First Visit to a Pain Specialist?
When it comes to picking a practice, be sure to look into the specialists at the location. As many pain doctors have a specialized area of practice, be sure there is a doctor that suits your needs. Insurance networks and costs are also important to consider.
When it comes to preparing for your appointment, be sure you know your family's medical history. If you received a referral to the specialist from a primary doctor, bring that with you. Bring any prior testing or imagery you have had performed as well.
When beginning pain treatment, it is important to note that everything is a process. Discovering what combinations of medicines and complementary treatments work for you could take some time. However, if you have had more than a handful of appointments with your specialist with no luck, it may be time to consider transferring to a new doctor.
Call The Pain Center to See a Pain Specialist
Have you or someone you love been suffering with acute or chronic pain which is severe and not relieved through over-the-counter medicines? If you’re looking for expert care to help reduce, relieve and improve your overall quality of life, then make an appointment for a consultation with our pain specialists at The Pain Center. Our pain specialists undergo extensive training to understand the root cause of acute and chronic pain and treat it accordingly. We will work with you to suggest the best treatment options for your condition. Dr. Sandra Thompson has 28+ years of experience and is an expert in managing chronic pain for back, neck and body.