As the nomenclature suggests, a pain management specialist is a medical professional who examines pain, determines its cause, and then treats it in the most effective way possible. They treat a variety of pains – from sudden headaches to lasting and chronic knee pains.
More often than not, patients seeking their assistance can go home the same day of the treatment.
The ultimate goal of a pain management specialist in Utah is to help patients get relief from pain and possibly return to their normal life.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what pain management specialist does to help improve their patients’ lives.
Who Is a Pain Management Specialist?
A pain management specialist is professionally trained in providing pain relief to patients. More often than not, they address chronic (long-term) pain relief caused by an injury or a medical ailment. Their treatment options vary depending on the type and extent of pain. Apart from medication, their treatment plan may include physical therapy and psychotherapy (talk therapy).
Pain management specialists in Utah help patients deal with specific kinds of issues, including neck and spine pain, migraine, nerve pain, arthritis pain, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, and so on.
Most pain management specialists are trained in anesthesiology. They may also be a physiatrist (specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation), an orthopedic doctor, or any other kind of healthcare provider that helps patients deal with pain.
These specialists may be medical doctors (MDs) or a doctor of osteopathy (DO). Physician assistants (PA), nurses (RN), or nurse practitioners (NP) may also provide care if required. Further, palliative care specialists may be involved in the treatment of serious illnesses like cancer.
They may be members of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), which promotes a multidisciplinary approach to treating a variety of pain. They might also be certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine.
What Does a Utah Pain Management Specialist Do?
Thanks to their education and experience, reputed pain management specialists in Utah understand the nature of pain. Based on this, they administer tests to detect patients’ specific concerns and conditions. Upon identifying the cause, they prescribe medication and therapy as part of their treatment.
Opioids may sometimes be prescribed for pain relief, but seasoned pain management specialists know that they should not be the first line of treatment. They’re familiar with physical therapy along with several minimally-invasive procedures (like spinal and knee injections or even nerve blocks), and non-narcotic treatments. These therapies enable patients to return to their normal daily routine, without involving opioids.
Utah pain management specialists also work out ways to help their patients get on the road to recovery without surgery or heavy medication. Sometimes, they team up with other healthcare professionals to create a treatment plan that caters to patients’ needs. They also coordinate with their patient’s primary care provider to facilitate smooth communication and ensure the best treatment.
Patients undergoing serious pain issues or are under the care of other specialists such as cancer doctors, neurologists, surgeons, and the like may be referred to pain management specialists for relief.
What to Expect During Your First Visit?
During your first visit, your Utah pain management specialist will ask you all about your condition and specific pain issues. You’ll need to provide details of your medical history as well as your current medical plan if any. To understand your problem better, you may be asked to fill out a questionnaire before your visit. You should provide detailed answers to these questions.
You may also be asked to bring along any X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans, CAT scans, or any other reports of tests that you may have undergone. Your pain management specialist might also need the following information:
- A pain journal that mentions all your symptoms, causes, and the degree of pain
- Names of the medicines you’re currently taking
- Pain relief treatment you’ve undergone or are undergoing
- Pain triggers and details of what intensifies/relieves the painful condition
Your Utah pain management specialist will also conduct a thorough physical examination and make a careful note of your concerns. They’ll then create a customized treatment plan catering to your specific needs.
Apart from that, your pain management expert may also ask you to undergo the following:
- X-ray: To understand the condition of your bone structure. Depending on the findings, more tests may be recommended.
- CT scan: To evaluate your bones and soft tissues via 3D imaging
- MRI: To examine your musculoskeletal condition and learn about your bones and soft tissues in detail
- PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan: To measure tissue changes at the cellular level. This is typically used in cases involving the possibility of cancer.
- Neurological exam: To study your sensory (feel) and motor (function) capabilities, such as your balance, reflexes, ability to walk, and muscle strength and tone
- Discography: To evaluate the intervertebral disc(s) and check for the source of your pain. This is recommended in cases of back or leg pain.
- NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) and EMG (Electromyography): NCS is conducted to identify signs of nerve damage as well as the extent of the damage. It also helps determine if any nerves are destroyed. EMG measures muscle response and detects muscle damage/disease.
When to See a Pain Management Specialist in Utah
Chronic pain can be difficult to deal with, both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, your pain management specialist in Utah can take several measures to provide relief. However, it is important to seek treatment before it’s too late. Make sure to see a Utah pain management specialist if you experience any of the following conditions:
- Your pain has lasted two to three weeks but refuses to subside
- The pain is causing stress, anxiety, or depression
- The continuous pain is making it hard for you to relax
- You’re unable to exercise or participate in other physical activities as you used to in the recent past
- The pain medication/treatment you’re being administered isn’t helping anymore
A pain management specialist is certified and trained in the various techniques and procedures that help them correctly diagnose and address your pain. A reliable Utah pain management clinic will not only provide you with quality medical care but also offer experience-based guidance after carefully listening to your problem. Their compassionate care will help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
At Peak Health and Wellness, our team takes a compassionate, customized approach to patient care. We understand that different patients have different pain management needs. With this in mind and to help decrease your pain, we offer a range of minimally-invasive procedures. Our multi-disciplinary approach to pain management will surely help you deal with your pain and gain comfort. Contact us today to know more about practice.