Pain Management Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pain management specialist?
Pain medicine specialists, also known as pain management doctors, specialize in diagnosing and treating pain. These physicians undergo additional training to help individuals whose chronic pain is often difficult to diagnose and may require ongoing treatment using a variety of therapies.
The types of conditions managed by pain medicine specialists fall into three main groups: direct tissue injury, nerve injury, and a combination of tissue and nerve injury.
- Direct tissue injuries. These are caused by tissue damage, as with the chronic pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, where the wear and tear of the joints are common.
- Nerve damage or nervous system disorders. These can cause pain and typically occur after a stroke, spinal cord injury, and some conditions like multiple sclerosis and diabetes.
- Mixed pain disorders. These can occur when there’s damage to your neck and spine, or with certain cancers.
Pain medicine specialists perform various procedures, such as X-rays, to diagnose and provide ongoing treatment for your pain management. Pain medicine specialists also rely on a combination of nonsurgical therapies to improve your quality of life, including:
Sometimes, treatment involves the use of medications. Depending on your need, your pain medicine specialist will also coordinate their treatment with the other physicians you may be seeing.