Specialists for chronic pain management
- Chronic Pain
- Risk Factors
Chronic pain management can be described as a medical approach to helping patients who have prolonged discomfort to achieve the highest possible quality of life. Pain can take a variety of forms. It can be chronic, lasting longer than three months, or acute, lasting less than three months. It can also be nociceptive, caused by activation of sensory pain receptors, or neuropathic, caused by damage to, or an abnormality in, the nervous system. While acute, nociceptive pain can often be treated with over-the-counter pain medication, hot-cold therapy and physical therapy, chronic neuropathic pain will sometimes require more targeted treatment methods.
Types of pain management specialists
Just as there are many categories of pain, there are also a variety of medical professionals that specialize in chronic pain management, including:
- Anesthesiologists. An anesthesiologist can administer an epidural steroid injection or selective nerve root block to relieve pain and inflammation for a period of time.
- Psychiatrists. A medical professional who helps people cope with mental health disorders; in terms of pain management, a psychiatrist might help someone deal with the somatic (body) pain that accompanies depression or feelings of fear and anxiety that are caused by a physical disorder.
- Physiatrists. This is a doctor who focuses on restoring physical functionality to a patient who has some sort of physical disability, which could range from traumatic injury, to degenerative diseases, to stroke victims, to hereditary disabilities.
- Neurologists. Specialists in disorders of the nervous system, which could include anything from nerve damage due to a stroke to nerve compression due to a herniated disc in the spine.
You should work with you primary care doctor to find the specialist or specialists who are best for your particular situation. You can then work to make sure the source of your pain is properly diagnosed. Next, a treatment plan can be developed for long-term pain management.
Finding relief from chronic neck or back pain
If you undergo chronic pain treatment from a specialist for your neck or back pain related to a spine condition, you may be introduced to therapies like TENS, biofeedback, antidepressants, epidural steroid injections, ultrasound therapy or acupuncture for chronic pain management. For many patients, spine surgery is not necessary to achieve lasting relief and a good quality of life.
However if you have decided that conservative treatment options are no longer offering the relief you require and you are considering surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute offers a safer and more effective^ alternative to traditional open spine procedures through our minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgeries. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis using muscle-sparing techniques, offering a range of benefits to our patients.
Contact us today for a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan* to determine if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.