The purpose of pain management is to evaluate, diagnose and treat different types of pain. It often involves a multidisciplinary approach and includes doctors from different specialties, such as neurology and anesthesiology. Also called pain clinics, they are health care centers that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain. One focuses on procedures to treat specific types of pain, such as neck and back pain.
As the name suggests, these doctors work with patients who have chronic illnesses that require opioids or other long-term medications. A medical specialist in pain management can be anyone, from a family medicine doctor to an internal medicine doctor or a psychiatrist. For example, a patient receiving methadone for chronic pain would see a medical specialist in pain management, not an interventional pain management physician. A medical specialist in pain management is especially helpful in navigating the many new regulations and laws related to pain medications (more on this later).
They will help ensure that you are taking the right dose for the right amount of time to help offset the risk of dependence or addiction. In any case, your pain management doctor will coordinate treatment between several doctors and health professionals. Narcotics effectively manage severe pain and are used for cancer pain and acute pain that does not respond to NSAIDs and acetaminophen. Objective measurements allow healthcare workers to better understand the pain experienced by the patient.
PMPs can provide patients with useful information on topics, such as medications (and medication reduction); the nature and physiology of chronic pain; sleep-related problems; and other topics, such as diet, sex, and the use of aids and accommodations. Although you don't always need a referral to see a pain specialist, most of the time these visits are made after seeing your primary care doctor (PCP) and another specialist, such as a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. An understandable approach to pain is to try to control and reduce it, in the hope that this will resolve the difficulties in mood and functioning that arose after the onset of pain. If none of these methods are effective in relieving pain, surgery may be a last resort option.
Note where the pain is, how it feels, how often the pain is, if certain positions make it worse, or if certain positions help relieve symptoms. Adopting the PMP philosophy requires, to a certain extent, acceptance of the fact that pain will persist, that medical treatment will be of limited value, and a willingness to practice demanding techniques of physical and psychological self-management. Treatment in a pain clinic can give you the skills to manage chronic pain on your own and make you better able to function, possibly so that you can return to work. The logic and philosophy of PMPs are based on (i) an adequate understanding of chronic pain states, (ii) an understanding of the limits of medical treatment, and (iii) an understanding of what true “self-management” of a chronic condition can look like.
Pain management physicians are medical professionals who have experience diagnosing, treating, and managing pain to improve patients' well-being. Much research has shown that feelings of fear of pain and the belief that movement is harmful because it is painful (kinesiophobia) result in poorer functioning and results 5, reduced movement results in physical deconditioning and loss of vital roles. A patient's physical and psychological difficulties with pain can be addressed directly, rather than waiting for pain relief to occur first. Neurostimulation can help relieve ongoing pain or weakness after a herniated disc or major spinal surgery.
PMPs can work against this destructive cycle, when one adequately understands the unpleasant but non-damaging nature of chronic pain sensations. .