The Diagnosis and Treatment of Pain Problems

Problems such as back pain, neck pain, neuropathy, headache, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (complex regional pain syndrome) are all treated regularly in a pain management practice. It is a specialty that doctors many claim to practice; however, there are only a few that are board certified in pain management. Many other specialties market themselves as pain management practitioners. Many patients are told that nothing more can be done. Unfortunately, their pain is still not treated or relieved. This is a grave disservice to the patient whose underlying condition is treatable.

"Imagine going on a car trip without an accurate map to guide you."

An important part of pain management is making an accurate diagnosis. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to treat the pain problem without reaching an accurate diagnosis. Imagine going on a car trip without an accurate map to guide you along the way. A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of pain should be sought out in order to treat persistent pain problems. A pain management specialist will do a detailed history, collect your medical records and pertinent diagnostic tests, do a detailed physical examination and synthesize the information to find the correct diagnosis. This is the map that will guide future treatment. Simply put: The better the map, the higher the likelihood of treatment success. Oftentimes, other diagnostic tests will be ordered including: MRI scans, CT scans, neurodiagnostic studies or electrodiagnostic studies, and even injection therapy. Interventional pain management procedures may be undertaken to diagnose the exact cause of pain.

An interventional pain management specialist is a relatively new area of specialization. A pain specialist has undergone formal training, extensive time studying and typically devotes their practice to the treatment of pain patients. In order to obtain board certification, a physician must complete a training program and undergo an extensive examination given by the American Board of Anesthesiologists. The only certification that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties is the American Board of Anesthesiologists Certificate of Added Qualifications in Pain Management.