Living with Chronic Pain
Finding the Right Pain Specialist
Oftentimes, individuals with chronic pain may visit many health care providers before finding a provider who specializes in chronic pain. Pain management specialists have advanced training in evaluating, diagnosing and treating acute, chronic and cancer pain. New medications, treatments and technologies are always surfacing. Pain management specialists continue to educate themselves about any new treatment options available. A pain management specialist can provide a treatment plan with a multidisciplinary approach involving physical therapy, rehabilitation programs, psychological therapy and more.
Get a referral
Ask a primary care physician for a referral to a pain management specialist.
Consult pain advocacy groups
The websites of pain advocacy organizations provide resources, support groups and programs. A trusted group is the American Chronic Pain Association.
Track pain level, activity and symptoms daily
Always be ready for the first or next visit with a pain specialist. Having a pain log available for the health care provider will help uncover chronic pain trends and patterns.
Utilize online resources
There are online directories that help to locate pain management specialists, organizations, clinics, centers and condition-specific groups in a specific geographical area.
During the first appointment, consider asking these questions:
- Where were you trained?
- Are you a board certified pain management specialist?
- What is your pain management philosophy?
- Do you understand and have experience with my specific pain conditions?
- What types of treatments do you offer your patients?
- Do you use a multidisciplinary approach to manage pain?
- How can you be reached after office hours?
After the search for a pain management specialist is complete, focus on developing a healthy relationship with the chosen provider.