We all have our own perceptions about how our pain must be treated, as do the pain specialists who treat us. Some of us are open-minded about all available treatments, others not.
Maybe we have participated in costly medicine trials or treatments which didn’t work. Maybe opioids were effective, but our provider is no longer inclined to prescribe them. Maybe there are no alternative treatments available to us. That’s why a good fit between patient and pain doctor is crucial.
Are all pain doctors the same? Hardly. Pain management specialists at www.arrowheadclinic.com/ have unique clinical backgrounds and pain management board certifications. The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine says the American College of Graduate Medical Education presently recognizes three pain management board certifications.
Eligibility for a subspecialty board certification in pain management calls for board certification as well as fellowship as an anesthesiologist, neurologist or physiatrist.
Anesthesiology – A large number of pain doctors are anesthesiologists. They perform interventional procedures, like epidurals and implantable devices (for example, pain pumps or nerve stimulators), and some do ultrasound-steered trigger point injections. Many prescribe medications for pain too.
Neurology – A neurologist may belong to a pain management group and perform the exact procedures an anesthesiologist does, or concentrate on managing nerve pain-causing conditions such as diabetes and chronic migraine. As well, they conduct diagnostic procedures like electromyography (EMG), and provide medication-centered pain management. For more facts and information about pain doctors, you can go to http://www.ehow.com/how_5610786_medical-doctor.html.
Physiatry – By training, physiatrists are rehabilitation doctors who focus on movement, physical and occupational therapy, and spotting factors contributory to pain. Those with a subspecialty in pain management also perform interventional procedures, implant medical devices, and prescribe pain medication as part of chronic pain treatment.
Notwithstanding their main specialty, you want a pain doctor who is a good diagnostician and practices an approach that you feel is effective for you.
Below are other considerations when you look for a pain professional:
Is the doctor in your insurance network?
Are you okay with his bedside manner?
What kind of experience does he have?
Does he conduct a meticulous physical exam?
Does he rush to perform an interventional procedure the first time you meet? This is a negative sign.
Does he discuss your treatment plan with you, making sure you understand it thoroughly?
Does he present and discuss your options, such as interventional treatments; physical therapy; and opioid therapy, including risks and benefits?
Does he use a patient-centric care model and listen your ideas while devising a plan?
Finally, do you feel that the provider is a good fit for you? It matters. Poor chemistry with your pain doctor diminishes your confidence in his ability to treat your pain. And as pain is substantially subjective, this will also diminish your treatment’s efficacy. Know about Arrowhead Clinic here!