What Is a Pain Management Doctor

Jul 13, 2023 | Pain Management

When it comes to managing pain, we’ve come a long way from “take two aspirin and call me in the morning.” Despite numerous advances in recent years, most people these days are still unaware of the medical specialty called pain management. 

One of the most common questions we get at HPM is, “What is a pain management doctor?” We’ve got helpful answers below.

What Does a Pain Management Doctor Do? 

A pain management doctor is a medical specialist who diagnoses and manages chronic pain. These nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and CRNAs receive extensive training in the field of pain medicine beyond their general medical degree. This experience can include residencies or fellowship training in pain management, as well as board certification by an organization like the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists.

In addition to diagnosing and treating pain, pain management doctors partner with other healthcare providers to provide a holistic approach to healing, which often involves behavioral therapy, physical therapy, and alternative forms of treatment such as meditation or yoga. Their treatment strategies can vary depending on each patient’s unique needs. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended. 

The main goal of a pain management doctor is to treat the root cause of pain rather than masking symptoms with medication. Since the majority of pain management is ultimately up to the individual, they also empower patients to control their pain more effectively in their day-to-day lives.

What Treatments Do Pain Management Doctors Use?

Pain management doctors take advantage of a wide range of treatments including: 

• Medications (such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, or injections)

• Physical therapy

• Psychological therapies (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy)

• Minimally invasive procedures (like nerve blocks, corticosteroid injections, or radio frequency ablations)

• Alternative therapies (hot needling, meditation, or yoga)

Each treatment works in a different way to manage pain, and is frequently combined with other therapies to provide maximum, long-term relief. For example, nerve blocks may be used to block pain signals from reaching the brain, while physical therapy can strengthen muscles and improve mobility.

Each treatment has benefits as well as potential side effects. Ask your medical practitioner to discuss the details with you so you can make an informed decision about your care.

When Should You See a Pain Management Doctor?

You should consider visiting a pain management specialist if you experience any of the following:

  • Chronic pain in your joints, back, neck, or any other part of your body that lasts longer than 3 months
  • Pain that interferes with daily activities such as work, sleep, or exercise
  • Unsuccessful treatment with other doctors
  • Certain types of severe pain such as nerve pain, cancer pain, and pain after surgery
  • Pain that radiates or is accompanied by numbness/tingling

By working with a specialist to manage your pain, you can improve your daily function and quality of life in a shorter period of time with results that should last longer. 

Find HPM Pain Management Specialists Near You

At HPM, we understand the struggle of living with chronic pain. That’s why we employ pain management specialists at clinics throughout rural America. Our licensed medical practitioners are trained to accurately diagnose the precise source of chronic pain and provide highly effective treatments tailored to each patient’s needs.

Don’t let chronic pain control your life. Visit our website to find an HPM pain management doctor near you and take the first step towards regaining control of your health and well-being.

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