People often erroneously think of treatment by a pain management specialist as consisting of only narcotic “pain killers.”
However, the practice of pain medicine or pain management is diagnosis driven just like other medical specialties. Just as one goes to a cardiologist for an evaluation of heart disease and receives treatment based on a unique diagnosis, a visit to a pain management specialist results in unique treatment because every patient with pain is also different. The discipline of pain medicine is concerned with the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of painful disorders. Scottsdale Pain Management
Like other doctors, the pain management specialist must examine each patient and create a treatment plan based on the patient’s symptoms, examination and other findings. For example, the cardiologist must first examine you and make several determinations. These include deciding whether your heart disease will respond to weight loss and exercise, whether you have high blood pressure and need medication to lower your blood pressure or whether your cholesterol is elevated or whether you have a blockage and need an interventional procedure or as a last resort, whether you might need to be referred to a cardiac surgeon for coronary bypass surgery.
All patients with heart disease do not take the same medications. It depends upon the cause of the problem. Just as there are different treatment options available for heart disease, there are a vast number of treatment options available for spinal or orthopedic pain.
While patients may go to a pain management physician because they “hurt,” just as they go to a cardiologist because they all have heart problems, all pain does not respond to narcotics. It is an unfortunate and common misconception that if patients go to the pain management doctor, they will be treated with narcotics.
Treatments for spinal or orthopedic pain vary just like treatments for heart disease vary. It depends on what is the cause of your problem.
First of all, it is important to understand that there are different types of spinal or orthopedic pain. One might have muscular pain, ligamentous pain, joint pain, bone pain, pain due to a herniated disks, pain from a fracture, or pain from a pinched nerve or a nerve injury. Pain medicines are prescribed based upon the source of the pain.