What Does A Pain Management Specialist Do?

Jun 22, 2023 | Pain Management

If you suffer from chronic pain, you know how much of an impact it can have on a person’s quality of life. Pain lasting more than three months can inflict physical, emotional, and social damage on any person’s well-being. 

When the pain won’t stop, it’s important to find specialized care to manage your symptoms effectively and improve your overall health.

One crucial aspect of managing chronic pain is understanding the role of a pain management doctor or specialist. These medical professionals can provide tailored treatment plans and strategies to help patients manage their pain and regain control of their lives.

What Conditions Do Pain Management Specialists Treat?

When people ask, “What does a pain management doctor do?” they want to understand the role and function of these types of specialists. Pain management specialists treat a wide range of conditions, including:

Back Pain

Whether it is due to muscle strain, herniated discs, or spinal stenosis, back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit pain management doctors.

Neck Pain

Poor posture, muscle strain, or issues with the cervical spine can cause neck pain.


Pain from arthritis can range from mild discomfort to debilitating joint pain that seriously impacts daily functioning.

Nerve Pain

Neuropathic pain can result from nerve damage due to injury, disease, or certain medications.


These severe headaches can cause intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea.

Joint Pain

A frequent condition that is the focus of many pain management specialists, joint pain can occur in many areas across the body including knees, hips, wrists, shoulders, and elbows.

Types of Pain Management Treatments

Many treatment options are available for managing chronic pain, and a pain management practitioner will work with each patient to develop a personalized plan that addresses their specific needs. Some common treatments include:

Interventional Procedures

These minimally invasive techniques can help provide relief for specific pain conditions. Examples include nerve blocks, steroid injections, and radiofrequency ablation. 


Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage mild to moderate pain. Topical treatments, like creams or patches, can also provide targeted relief. Prescription medications, such as opioids or muscle relaxants, may be used for more severe pain under careful supervision, but should only be used in extreme cases or as a last resort. 

Physical Therapy and Exercise

Strengthening and stretching exercises can help improve muscle function and alleviate pain. Posture improvement techniques can also be beneficial for reducing strain on the spine. Aquatic therapy is another option that provides low-impact exercise in a supportive environment.

The Importance of Communication

When you visit a pain management practitioner, be sure to do your part to develop a strong practitioner-patient relationship, which is essential for successful pain management. Effective communication allows your specialist to understand your symptoms better, while trust ensures that you feel comfortable discussing your concerns and following their recommendations.

Some tips for effectively communicating your pain and symptoms include:

  • Share your pain story: what happened, when it happened, and how it’s felt since
  • Be specific about the location, intensity, and duration of your pain
  • Describe any triggers or activities that worsen or alleviate your pain
  • Discuss how your pain impacts your daily life and well-being

Remember that honesty is essential in this relationship. Be open about your medical history, current medications, and any concerns you may have about treatments.

Find Help with HPM

The role of a pain management specialist is vital in helping chronic pain patients regain control of their lives. By providing specialized care and personalized treatment plans, these professionals can make a significant difference in the lives of those struggling with chronic pain.

HPM operates pain management clinics throughout rural America, offering patients access to dedicated professionals who specialize in treating chronic pain. Reach out to an HPM clinic near you to start your journey toward managing your pain.
Learn more about pain management by visiting HPM’s blog.