Do you suffer from chronic pain that keeps you awake at night? Pain that interferes with your career and social life?
You’re not alone, more than 20% of adults in the US suffer from chronic pain and that number has significantly increased since 2002.
The good news is that finding a center of pain management is easier than you think. You don’t have to just learn to live with the pain and it’s important to remember that help is out there.
Keep reading to learn six tips for finding the best pain management doctors in your area.
1. Ask Your Primary Care Physician
A great place to start your search is your primary care physician. Your primary care physician already knows you as a patient and is well aware of your health history along with the medications you’ve been taking.
You can ask your doctor to recommend a pain management doctor they work closely with or to give you a list of who specializes in treating your particular condition.
2. Look Into Pain Support Groups
Often, being in chronic pain can make you feel isolated and alone. Remember, you’re not the only one living with chronic pain. A good way to find a pain management clinic is to get involved in local pain support groups.
Pain support groups and online forums are a fantastic way to get information from other people in your community that are going through the same thing. Pain groups share important resources such as doctor recommendations and treatment information.
You can talk directly to people who have gone to specific clinics for treatment and get feedback that can help direct you to where you need to be.
3. Ask About the Services and Treatments Offered
Often, it takes different approaches from different angles to minimize the pain you are feeling. Comprehensive pain management centers should have a variety of chronic pain treatment options available. It’s a good idea to make sure the pain management center you choose has treatments available such as physical therapy.
Physical therapy is one of the best ways to alleviate chronic long-term pain. It not only treats your pain but also the source of your pain. A physical therapist will look for areas of stiffness, soreness, and weakness that may be contributing to the pain you feel.
Physical therapy sessions usually include strengthening exercises, pain relief exercises, and gentle stretching. You’ll also likely do some low-impact aerobic training that will increase your heart rate but remain easy on your joints.
Other treatment options to look for include:
- Lumbar epidural steroid injections
- Trigger point injections
- Spinal cord stimulator
- Opioid therapy
- Cervical epidural steroid injections
The pain management center you choose should assess your overall condition and causes of your pain to come up with an individual treatment plan.
4. Look at Credentials and Experience
You’ll also want to look at the credentials and experience of the physician you’re considering. One of the most important factors in choosing a pain management physician is board certification. You can easily check a doctor’s credentials online by typing in their first and last name along with the state they practice in.
Pain management doctors have to first complete four years of medical school followed by a medical residency in pain management, often focusing on anesthesiology.
Once a doctor has completed this kind of training, they have all the skills and experience they need to provide appropriate pain management care for their patients.
Next, you’ll want to take a look at the pain management doctor’s overall experience. The more experience your doctor has with your specific condition, the better your results will be. Don’t be afraid to ask how many times they have performed a specific procedure and how often they’ve had complications occur.
5. Ask About Telehealth Options
Now, more than ever, a pain management specialist that offers telehealth capabilities is an important option to ask about. If it’s hard for you to stay mobile due to your pain, virtual visits can make all the difference.
While every visit can’t be virtual, routine follow-up appointments and symptom management can often be managed remotely. You can make notes of your symptoms, complaints, and any changes to submit to your doctor prior to your appointment.
6. Check Insurance Coverage and Payment Options
Before you decide on a pain management physician, it’s important to check to see which pain management doctors participate in your plan. This way, you can calculate and budget your out-of-pocket costs.
You’ll also need to be familiar with what benefits your plan actually covers. For example, if you have Medicare, you’ll get help paying for services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and depression screenings. Many Medicare plans also have medication management programs for opioid pain medications.
If you don’t have health insurance coverage, then you’ll need to ask about self-pay options. Make sure to check if the pain management clinic offers discounts or patient financing options.
Pain Management Doctors
You don’t have to live your life in pain, so don’t be afraid to take action. If you follow these six tips, you’ll be sure to find a doctor for pain management that will change your outlook on life.
Next time you search Google for a pain management clinic near me, stop your search at Wake Spine & Pain.
The specialists at Wake Spine & Pain take a multidisciplinary approach to minimizing your pain and restoring your ability to function normally. We offer individualized pain management plans that include the emotional, physical, and psychological effects of chronic pain.
We can empower you to take back control of how you live your life. Be sure to reach out and contact us today to book an appointment, so you can experience less pain tomorrow!