Hey I am sorry to bother you, but I am still trying to figure out this whole board and posting thing. But I am still not clear on what a pain management doctor is? Is it a doctor who just pretty much gives you prescriptions and monitors it or is it like going to a chiropractor and getting physical therapy?
a "pain mng Dr" can be any dr.there is no certification or training required to hang a sign on your practice saying "Pain Management"
a good P.M. practice would likely consist of a group of dr's with a multidisciplinary approach to treating chronic pain.
Treatments could be injections such as Nerve Blocks,Triggerpoints or Epidurals.
Physical Therapy,Bio Feedback,Medication, and the list goes on.
Medication is usually prescribed conservatively until conservative treatments have failed and surgery is not considered a "cure all"
so many "pain management" places have opened in my area since i started seeing a dr 3 years ago.not all of them have the same philosophy.some may not rx meds but most do believe pain medication is an important part of treatment.I know i could not have kept at phsycal therapy without them and stregnthening has helped my back pain quite a bit.
also,with most actual pain management clinics,you will be required to actually sign a contract with your doc that states the rules and regulations that you will have to follow .this would include random drug testing and random pill counts whenever they decide to suprise you.they are just much stricter than like seeing your primary for your pain meds.they have to be since they are taking on alot of responsibility in most cases in Rxing some stronger pain meds to some patients.
the thing is,if you are really truely suffering with some sort of really painful chronic condition,this would be the best place to go.they just can offer you so many other options than any doc can,they are also very familiar with many different types of pain processes that even alot of docs are not even aware of.the just treat pain.and nothing else.although if they feel the need,they can send you to other docs for some specific reason.I was referred back to my old physiatrist when I was considering botox treatments for my leg spasticity.my pain doc said that this particular physiatrist was just much more up on the ins and outs of how botox works and would be the best one to actually evaluate me.but I still remained a patient at my pain clinic and under my pain docs care for all of my pain meds.
you will be reqired tohave just the pain doc you are seeing to be the only doc to Rx any sort of actual narcotics or if you are having like a surgery or something,they HAVE to be notified so they know what this surgeon is rxing you.I did this with my last two surgeries and everything was fine.
a pain clinic is just a whole different place than your primary docs clinic.without my pain doc and his knowledged of my really bizarre pain syndromes,I would not even be able to get out of bed in the morning.for some of us,they are truely life savers.
If you are really suffering with some over the top types of pain,i would highly suggest that you seek out a good PM doc.good luck,Marcia
HI, As others stated, many "pain management" clinics have arisen, all with various capabilities and credentials. Any reputable clinic will be staffed primarily with MD's who are anesthesiologists who have studied a sub-specialty of Pain management. If you are insured, contact your insurance and ask who they have listed under pain management. Ask you PCP for a refferal if needed. (Not all plans require a referral). Be an informed consumer, ask questions i.e. "what is your area of specialty or interest, check board of medicine standing in your state. This is public info. Any citings by the board or lawsuits pending or litigated will be listed there. Good luck, and hope you find the help you need
As the others have stated, PM docs come from all different specialities of medicine. Some states do have regulations on who can be a "Pain Management" doctor. My doctor is certified as a pain specialist. He's an Anesthesiologist. But many times it is a Physiatrist (Pain medicine and rehabilitation). Most PM's are MD's or DO's.
As someone else pointed out, a good clinic will offer different specialities. Not just an Rx clinic. Pain medicine is only one of many ways to treat pain.
You many times will need a referral to go to a PM, and once there that doc can refer you to other specialities if needed, like surgeons, PT, etc.
I would say the majority are Anesthesiologist's as dealing with pain is there speciality. But I have also seen just regular MD's dealing in PM. When looking for one, try to find a place that can offer many different types of approaches. There are places that just Rx, but that is limiting you to treating your pain or finding a cure. There are other PM's that will not Rx and do just injections (facet, epidural, etc). So in my opinion, the best place is one that offers all kinds of treatment.
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