Many pain suffers endure a complex journey before ever being introduced to a pain management specialist. Pain management specialists have advanced training in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating acute, chronic, and cancer pain. New drugs, techniques, and technologies are constantly surfacing. Pain management specialists continue to educate themselves and learn the new pain management options to effectively treat patients. 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 your primary care physician for a referral for a pain management specialist.
Consult pain advocacy groups
The websites of these organizations provide physician directories, resources, support groups, advocacy, and programs. Trusted groups include: American Chronic Pain Association and US Pain Foundation.
Track your pain level, activity and symptoms daily
Always be ready for your first or next visit with a pain specialist. Having this information available for your physician will help uncover important trends or patterns with your situation.
Utilize online resources
Online directories allow you to find a pain management specialist, organization, clinic, centers, and condition-specific groups to find a pain specialist near you. A few resources are Find a Doctor on PainPathways, Healthgrades, and US News & World Report.
Consider asking these questions when finding the right pain specialist
- 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 pain conditions?
- What types of treatments besides medications or opioids do you offer your patients?
- Do you use a multidisciplinary approach to manage pain?
- How can you be reached post office hours?
After your search for a pain management specialist is complete. Focus on developing a healthy relationship with your doctor – this will improve your experience with the difficult to navigate health system