Pain Doctors and Pain Management Clinics
Recent news has exposed a troubling trend in the field of pain management: many states are now investigating or prosecuting pain specialists. With the conviction of Dr. Graves, many pain specialists are now reconsidering their due diligence and practices. While pain physicians often treat their patients with the most effective and safest methods available, the dangers of improper prescribing of opioids should not be underestimated.
Before choosing a pain specialist, consider the doctor’s educational background and board certification. Board certified pain specialists have more experience in pain management than non-certified doctors. Also, pain management physicians may be anesthesiologists or neurologists who have additional training in pain management. Fellows in pain management may specialize in interventional spinal procedures. It is also important to confirm a doctor’s training and history.
While taking pain medication is an essential part of managing pain, it is important to remember that it can lead to addiction. The side effects of opioids can be severe, so it’s important to gradually taper off medication. When tapering off pain medicine, patients should let their healthcare provider know about their medical history and any other medications they may be taking.
It’s crucial for patients to ask about pain during the consultation. Many doctors will ask patients to rate their pain from 0 to 10, with 10 being the most severe level. Other doctors may show patients a drawing with facial expressions and ask patients to point to the face corresponding to the level of pain. Some doctors also ask patients to mark a certain spot on the drawing where the pain occurs. Extra precautions are taken, of course, with regards to pregnancy and the patient seeking help for pain due to complications from being pregnant.
Pain Doctors may require their patients to undergo drug testing. This testing is done to prevent the abuse of pain medication. Patients are supposed to be only taking the medication prescribed to them, and any illicit drugs can impair their ability to receive treatment. To prevent this, pain doctors randomly screen patients and analyze the drugs in their system.
Moreover, pain doctors can also diagnose conditions like cancer. Although many primary care doctors can treat some types of pain, they will often refer patients to pain management doctors. Pain management doctors are highly trained and board-certified in their fields. They can also treat acute and chronic pain. Chronic pain patients typically require multiple therapies and care for months or years.
In many cases, patients with chronic pain have multiple reasons for the pain. If the pain is related to cancer, for example, a doctor may prescribe chemotherapy or radiation. If the pain is caused by inflammation or a malfunction of the nervous system, a pain doctor may use nerve blocks to relieve it. These procedures help pinpoint the source of the pain and allow the injured nerve to heal. Visit a pain clinic near you if you are suffering from unbearable pain associated with cancer treatments.