Role of the Pain Management Specialist

Specialists in pain management care about the ability of patients to function and level of functioning. If the pain is severe or caused by medical ailments the patient’s primary doctor might recommend patients to specialist in pain who is the physician. Doctors of physiatrists specialize in rehabilitation and physical medicine with a particular interest in muscular and skeletal disorders. Certain physiatrists are trained on Interventional Pain Management (IPM). IPM is a field of medicine that is devoted to the treatment and diagnosis of pain-related disorders.

A pain management specialist creates plans for treatment to ease, manage, or reduce discomfort and allow patients to return to normal activities swiftly without the need for surgery or a heavy dependence on medications. To ensure that all patients’ needs are taken care of the doctor coordinates treatment by working with an inter-disciplinary team of health experts. This includes:

  • Physiatrists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Internists
  • Oncologists
  • The surgical specialists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists

The specialists who treat pain are the most concerned about the patient’s general health and well-being. In order to achieve this they focus on the whole person, and not only a single portion or body part.

Diagnose the Cause of Back Pain

Before a physician can address the patient’s pain, they must know the reason for the pain. In some cases, the reason may be clear for instance, an injury to the spine. If chronic pain is present the cause(s) might be unclear and may make the diagnosis difficult. The doctor relies on the medical history of the patient as well as neurological and physical tests. Diagnostic tools can also help determine or confirm any possible diagnosis.

In-depth Patient Evaluation

The physician and patient speak with great detail about the current health issue and their medical background. The doctor might ask the patient what the patient’s history is, and when it began, and for an explanation of the pain, as well as about actions that cause or diminish the pain, and about any current or prior treatments.

Physical and Neurological Examination

Physical examinations assess the vital signs of the patient; respiration, pulse heartbeat blood pressure, pulse and more. A neurological examination evaluates the patient’s sense (feel) as well as motor (function) abilities, including balance, reflexes, the capacity to walk strength of muscles and strength of the muscles.

  • A X-Ray also known as Radiograph, is an everyday test used to assess the health of your bone structures of the body. The results could suggest that further tests are needed.
  • CT scan (Computed Tomography) is an imaging method that can be used to analyze soft and bone. Each anatomical detail is similar to cross-sections or slices of a particular part in the body.
  • the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is an effective imaging tool. MRI is often employed for musculoskeletal examinations because it gives great details about soft tissues and bones.
  • PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography) employs small quantities of radionuclides (radioactive isotopes) to detect changes in the tissue on a cell level. The test is conducted when there is a suspicion of cancer.
  • Discography permits the doctor to examine the discs in between (one or more) as potential pain sources. The test assesses the strength of discs, and is able to reproduce leg or back pain. The process involves the use the contrast color into each disc that is suspect to be examined using radiograph as well as CT scan.

Electrodiagnostic devices comprise NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) and EMG (Electromyography).

  • NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) examines the speed at which nerve impulses travel when they travel through the nerve. This test helps determine whether there is damage to nerves or the extent of damaged nerves, and also if they are damaged.
  • EMG (Electromyography) employs nerve stimulation to measure the electrical activity in certain muscles fibers. The test evaluates the muscle’s response and can detect muscle damage and diseases. It helps to differentiate between a neuromuscular and a muscular disorder.
  • Most of the time it is the case that both tests are conducted however, an NCS can be conducted in lieu of an EMG.

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