How Do You Find a Good Pain Doctor?

We all have our own notions about how our pain has to be treated, as do the pain experts who treat us. Some of us are open to all kinds of treatments, but others are not.

Perhaps we have undergone pricey medicine trials or treatments that were ineffective. Perhaps opioids worked well, but our provider is no longer at ease prescribing 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 experts have varying clinical backgrounds and pain management board certifications. According to the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, three pain management board certifications are currently recognized by the American College of Graduate Medical Education.

To be eligible for a subspecialty board certification in pain management, board certification and fellowship as an anesthesiologist, neurologist or physiatrist are required.

Anesthesiology - A large number of pain doctors are anesthesiologists. They depend on nerve blocks, implantable devices (for instance, nerve stimulators), epidurals and other interventional procedures, and some do ultrasound-maneuvered trigger point injections. Many prescribe medications for pain too.

Neurology - A neurologist can practice in a pain management group and perform the same procedures an anesthesiologist does, or focus on managing diabetes, chronic migraine or other conditions leading to nerve pain. They also conduct diagnostic tests like electromyography (EMG), and provide pain management through medication. To get more ideas on where to find the best doctors, go to .

Physiatry - By training, physiatrists are rehabilitation doctors who focus on movement, physical and occupational therapy, and spotting factors contributory to pain. Those who have a pain management subspecialty also conduct interventional procedures, prescribe pain medication and implant medical devices as part of chronic pain management.

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 physician within your insurance network?

Are you okay with his bedside manner?

How wide is his experience?

Does he perform an extensive physical exam?

Does he rush to conduct an interventional procedure on your first meeting? This is a red flag.

Does he discuss your treatment plan in detail, making sure you understand it completely?

Does he give you options and discuss them, such as opioid therapy and its risks and benefits; physical therapy; or  interventional treatments? Know about arrowhead clinic here!

Does he use a patient-driven care model and take your ideas seriously when coming up with a plan?

Lastly, does the atlanta car accident doctor feel like the right fit for you? Personality matters for sure. Poor chemistry with your pain doctor diminishes your confidence in his ability to treat your pain. And because pain is considerably subjective, this will also reduce the effectiveness of your treatments.