A pain doctor specializes in easing, managing and relieving pain or those who suffer from chronic pain. And as there many different types of these specialized doctors, there are many strategies for pain management and pain relief also.
Chronic pain is most often treated with medications, but sometimes those aren’t enough and that is where a doctor that specializes in pain is called in. They will access the patient’s pain along with the disease, illness or injury that is causing the patient’s chronic pain and determine a treatment plan to help them.
As a pain specialist, they know that there are many other treatments that can be more effective than prescribing medications alone. In some cases, the doctor may determine that the patient doesn’t need medication but some other form of therapy instead.
Or they may determine the patient will benefit from a combination of medication and therapy. Some of the available treatments that a pain doctor may utilize for a person with chronic pain include:
Injections: The use of local anesthetics is often combined with a corticosteroid shot that is injected around a patient’s nerve roots by the doctor. Sometimes they are injected directly into joints or muscles where the patient is experiencing irritation, muscle spasms, and/or swelling.
Nerve blocks: When a patient is suffering from ganglion or plexus, which is a group of nerves that are causing pain to a specific organ or region of their body, a pain doctor may choose to treat them with injections of local anesthetics. These will block the patient’s pain they are feeling in that area.
Aquatic and Physical Therapy: Sometimes a patient will be referred to a Physiatrist that specializes in rehabilitation medicine. Or they may be referred a physical therapist for their chronic pain. The physical therapist may prescribe a patient to a specially designed exercise program that will help increase their ability to function and decrease their pain. Other options of physical therapy that a patient may be prescribed are deep-muscle massages, ultrasound or whirlpool therapy.
Electrical Stimulation: A pain doctor may prescribe electrical stimulation for a patient. This is done by way of a TENS unit (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) which is a technique that uses a battery-operated device that will stimulate the patient’s nerve fibers through their skin. There are also implants that are used for pain control of chemicals, heat, or medication.
Each of the treatments listed may rid the patient of any and all pain. However, after a patient has gone through a treatment, the pain specialist may recommend the keep a regular therapy schedule to keep the area free from pain. That routine of therapy may be something in the area of massage therapy or some other type of physical therapy, including daily swimming.