Finding a pain management doctor can be stressful, especially if you are desperately in need of treatment. However, it’s important to know what to look for in a doctor to receive care designed for your specific pain.
Your doctor may perform procedures and authorize therapies, medications, and alternative treatments for you. You should feel confident and comfortable with your doctor so you’re equipped to make the best decisions regarding your pain management.
Below are four key qualifications you should look for in a pain management doctor. If you’re meeting with your doctor for the first time, be sure to ask them about their credentials, experience, and expertise to help you decide if they are the right doctor for you.
1. Education and training
Treating any kind of pain is a complex process that involves specialized knowledge of procedures, medications, and therapies. It’s important to find a doctor who specializes in pain to get targeted care for your specific condition. A qualified chronic pain doctor will have graduated from medical school and completed an internship and residency.
Also look for doctors who have completed a fellowship or are board-certified in anesthesiology and pain management. While these aren’t necessary requirements to work in the field, they are additional training options that give doctors a more specialized education in pain management.
2. Pain management experience
Pain management doctors are required to evaluate, diagnose, and treat a spectrum of pain conditions. This involves running a variety of diagnostic tests, evaluating your health history, prescribing and guiding you through medication regimens, performing procedures to target the cause of your pain, and coordinating a variety of supplemental therapies such a physical therapy, counseling, and rehabilitation.
Because the responsibilities of your pain management doctor cover a wide scope of knowledge, experience is key in providing high-quality care. Look for a doctor who has completed an internship, residency, and possibly a fellowship, as well as worked in the field independently.
Our three doctors have a combined experience of 25 years in pain management, which is why we’re so confident in our multidisciplinary and interventional approach to pain management.
3. Previous experience with your specific condition
Pain can be chronic or acute, and brought on by a wide variety of conditions, injuries, or nerve damage. A successful pain management plan is customized to treat your specific condition and symptoms. It’s not only important that your doctor has well-rounded experience, it’s also crucial that he or she has experience with your specific kind of pain and the therapies or procedures necessary to treat it. If not, ask your current doctor to refer you to a specialist who can treat your specific kind of pain.
- Failed back syndrome
- Facet joint arthralgia
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Peripheral nerve injury
- Myofascial pain
- Nerve root pain
- Cervical pain
- Lumbar pain
- Chronic headaches and occipital neuralgia
- Postherpetic neuralgia and post shingles pain
- Abdominal pain
4. Personal connection and trust
Chronic pain is a personal experience that can take a toll on the body and mind. Find a pain management doctor who you can trust and feel comfortable with. The decisions you and your doctor make about your pain management plan may have a significant impact on your daily life, so it’s important that you trust the guidance of your doctor and have a rapport in which you can contact them with any concerns or problems. That personal connection, open communication, and transparency will help you work together to find a treatment plan that alleviates your pain and works with your lifestyle.
If you have tried a few pain management doctors in Oklahoma City, but haven’t found one who is right for you, schedule an appointment at Oklahoma Pain Management to discuss our available treatment options.