There is a common misconception that pain doctors are not actually fully qualified doctors, that they are quack doctors who are unqualified yet claim to have medical knowledge and skills. It is this mistaken belief that often prevents people from getting the help they need for conditions that cause chronic pain.
What are Pain Doctors?
Pain specialists such as those who work at medical cannabis pain clinic Kindly MD are fully qualified physicians. They are medically trained and have specialized in their chosen fields (which could be neurosurgery, neuroscience, osteopathy, or anesthesiology, for example). They will then continue with advanced training in pain medicine.
Pain management doctors are specialists in the field of chronic pain. They will perform an evaluation, give a diagnosis, and create a treatment plan designed around the individual needs of each patient. The aim of any treatment plan is to help the patient to manage their pain and improve their level of functioning.
What Do Treatment Plans Look Like?
The thing about treatment plans provided by pain management doctors is that no two are the same. These plans are designed to work specifically for the individual patient and will be based on that person’s needs and circumstances.
Pain clinics have a lot of different treatment options at their disposal, however. As well as medication, they will use a combination of physical therapy, complementary therapies, and talking therapies. Some treatment plans will also include recommendations for diet and lifestyle changes if these are deemed appropriate.
Medication that may be discussed between the pain team and the patient will usually include over the counter or prescription painkillers, anti-inflammatories, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, and anti-depressants. Your doctor might recommend trying a pain medication that you have not already tried to see if it works for you while you make certain changes to your lifestyle.
Sometimes, pain relief injections will work better, and some people might be given a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine to take home for the management of pain. TENS machines are often used by women in labor. It works by sending small electrical pulses to various sites on the body to block pain messages.
For some people, pain medication is not appropriate. For example, they may have previously struggled with addiction and would prefer not to take medication. TENS machines are a suitable alternative.
Pain management plans might also include group therapy sessions, where patients can sit with a facilitator and discuss their feelings. Talking about things with others in a similar position can be really helpful. Many patients find that these sessions give them great insight into their own struggles, and they may learn more about how to manage their pain from others in the group.
For those who are struggling with pain because of their weight, a pain doctor might recommend a change to their diet and an increase in physical activity. Losing weight can have a positive impact on the joints, thus reducing pain. A nutritionist can devise a new eating plan that might focus on including more healthy foods. If the patient has quite a bit of weight to lose, a lower calorie eating plan may be created.
Pain doctors are not quack doctors despite what many people believe. In fact, they are fully qualified physicians who have advanced training in the field of pain medicine and treatment. Those who attend pain clinics will be evaluated, diagnosed, and treated by doctors who will also be specialists in other fields such as neuroscience and neurosurgery.
Pain doctors devise plans around the individual’s needs, which could include a variety of treatment options such as medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.