Your First Visit to a Pain Clinic
What Is a Pain Physician?
Pain physicians, or pain specialists, are experts in the prevention, assessment, and treatment of pain. “Pain physicians come from many different educational backgrounds,” says Dmitry M. Arbuck, MD, president and medical director of the Indiana Polyclinic in Indianapolis, a pain management clinic. Dr. Arbuck is certified by the American Academy of Pain Management and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. “Any doctor from any specialty—for instance, emergency medicine, family practice, neurology—may be a pain physician.
The pain physician you see will depend on your symptoms, diagnosis, and needs. “Chronic pain is an especially wide field,” Dr. Arbuck explains. “The doctors within a pain management clinic or practice might specialize in rheumatology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, psychiatry,” or other areas, for example.
ain physicians have earned the title of MD (Doctor of Medicine) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Some pain physicians are fellowship-trained, meaning they received post-residency training in this sub-specialty. Pain fellowships often emphasize interventional pain treatments, which typically involve injections (eg, nerve blocks), spinal cord stimulation through an implanted device, or insertion of a morphine pump in to the intrathecal space of the spine. (Read more about interventional pain approaches.)
Pain physicians who have met certain qualifications—including completing a residency or fellowship and passing a written exam—are considered to be board-certified. Many pain doctors are dual-board certified in, for instance, anesthesiology and palliative medicine. However, not all pain physicians are board-certified or have formal training in pain medicine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consult them, says Dr. Arbuck: “Some of these doctors are really good!”
What Is a Pain Clinic?
The term “clinic” often refers to an outpatient medical facility staffed by multiple doctors and other health professionals.
Ways to Get a Doctor to Take You (Very, Very) Seriously When You’re in Pain
How we see the world shapes who we choose to be — and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective
Let’s say you’ve been suffering from pain for a while, perhaps years. Thinking, ever so naively, that being in constant pain for months on end isn’t normal, you go to your doctor. He orders blood work and maybe an X-ray or a sonogram. All results come back normal, so your doctor dismisses your concerns.
Say “I am in pain.” Be ignored or dismissed, because it can’t be that bad. Leave with your tail between your legs, you wascally wabbit
Say “I am in severe pain.” This time your doctor will respond! With an eye roll. Followed by a reminder that all your blood work is negative and you don’t “look sick.” Leave the doctor’s office, you dramatic exaggerator, you
Wear a button that says, “Friendly reminder: I Am in Pain.” Pin it to your shirt that says, “REAL BAD PAIN, DOC.” Make sure he looks at your throat so when you stick your tongue out and say “ah,” he’ll see your new tongue tattoo that says: “YOU TOOK AN OATH.”
How can I find a good pain-management doctor?
What is Pain Management?
Pain Management NYC Specialists is a group of physicians and staff devoted to helping patients accurately identify and manage chronic pain. By combining traditional, advanced and regenerative pain-management techniques, and by delivering quality, comprehensive healthcare to patients, CPS endeavors to provide efficient, effective and compassionate pain management for a broad range of ailments and pain syndromes.
also called pain medicine, is a type of specialized medical care. It is designed to minimize the impact of surgical pain or chronic pain. Chronic pain, in particular, can be difficult to control. It can sometimes be impossible to cure. Pain management treatment can help reduce pain. It can help patients enjoy a better quality of life.
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step Approach to Chronic Pain Management
Understand your pain problem
Try to separate hurt from harm. The pain you experience is real, but the cause may be a heightened sensitivity of the nervous system and not increasing damage to some part of your body (even though it feels that way).
Maintain a cooperative but not dependent relationship with your doctors
Doctors have a difficult time treating chronic pain and may feel frustrated as well. Be honest and assertive with your doctors, but also let them know you understand they cannot perform miracles and that chronic pain management is a team effort
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your emotional response to pain, be it fear, anger, or depression
Seek out psychological help if needed. Remember that the best chronic pain treatment should include both mental and physical elements.
Seek support when needed but stay in control
Family, friends, and health care professionals are all important resources for you, but often they are not sure how best to help. Let all the important people in your life know that you appreciate their support and that you will ask them directly when you need their help or just someone to talk to.
Remember that new knowledge and treatments are coming so stay in touch
Pain is a rapidly expanding area of research. New technologies in functional brain imaging and molecular biology are generating, for the first time, detailed portraits of our brains in action and the biochemistry of pain transmission. There is no doubt that improved pain treatments will not be far behind.
Tips to control patient pain
A number of studies and surveys on pain management have all come to the same conclusion: Despite strides in therapies to ease pain, too many inpatients experience significant levels of continuous pain during the course of their treatment. A recent report from the World Health Organization, for example, found that at least 25% of all cancer patients who die in a hospital die without adequate pain relief
The good news is that several other studies have shown that physicians can manage pain effectively in most patients by using some relatively simple strategies. Of particular interest to inpatient physicians, researchers say that pain management plays a critical role in the recovery process.
At the Heart Hospital of New Mexico in Albuquerque, hospitalists follow an institution-wide pain management model that relies on two basic elements: regular assessments of patient pain and ongoing adjustments to reflect patient input
A tiered approach
While you have many options to manage patient pain, experts say that opioids typically offer the best approach to short-term pain management in an inpatient setting. Many physicians, however, avoid opioids because of side effects, the potential for addiction, tolerance and possible respiratory failure
Many experts say these concerns are exaggerated and should not keep you from prescribing opioids to patients who are in pain. “When properly used and monitored, opioids offer the most effective pain relief available with limited risk to patients,” says Eugenie Obbens, MD, associate attending neurologist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York