A pain management specialist is a doctor specializing in diagnosing pain conditions and providing treatment. They treat both acute and chronic forms of pain. In most cases, a pain doctor will use different medication-based procedures and non-medical techniques to address your pain condition from the root instead of treating the symptoms. Pain doctors treat direct tissue injuries such as arthritis, nervous system diseases, nerve injuries, and a mix of both, such as back pain. Jay M. Shah MD, has years of medical training focusing primarily on pain management as a pain doctor.
What Treatment Approach Do Pain Management Specialists Use?
When starting your pain treatment, you may begin with a primary care physician. However, you may need to see a pain management specialist for more advanced treatment. They will offer a first-line treatment including medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants. The second line of treatment may involve more sophisticated procedures like radiofrequency ablation and viscosupplementation. They may also recommend stronger pain medications at this stage. The third line of treatment includes implantation with a spinal cord stimulator or a pain pump. Treatments recommended at this stage aim at relieving pain at the spinal cord level, which acts as the primary sensor of pain in your body. They can also suggest a stem cell treatment at this stage.
What Happens During Your First Visit?
During your first visit to a pain management center, the doctor will ask questions about your symptoms. They can also enquire about your medical history, previous diagnostic studies, and medication list. If you have any prior diagnostic studies, you may want to bring them during the visit. They will conduct a physical exam. They will ask about the affected body part, the kind of pain you experience, how often you feel the pain, the specific time the pain comes, its setting, what relieves it, and other symptoms you have experienced apart from the pain.
What Medications Do Pain Management Doctors Prescribe?
Most pain management doctors address pain in a stepwise fashion. They choose the safest medication with the most minor side effects that offer your condition the most effective relief. For instance, if you suffer from a migraine, the medication you get will differ from that of a patient suffering from cancer pain or a nerve injury. They can also use a combination of different approaches, including talk therapy, physical therapy, and exercise, to help manage pain. Not all cases need pain medication for treatment.
Pain doctors will use different medicines to treat various pain conditions, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. Regardless of the prescribed medication, make sure you observe your doctor’s dosage limits and safety warnings or directions. Some treatments, such as opioids, may pose some dangers, so make sure you follow the provided instructions.
To summarize, pain doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating different pain conditions. While a primary care physician can help with some pain conditions, you have to see a pain specialist for more advanced treatment. During your first visit, they will ask about your symptoms, medical history, previous diagnostic studies, and medications list. Pain doctors offer treatment stepwise and can use a combination of treatments such as medicines, physical therapy, talking therapy, and stem cell treatments.