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Pain Management - Where does this fit in?

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi Guys

I've been reading all along that alot of peeps see pain management doctors. To be honest the first time I heard this term was last year when my husband took a bad fall on his shoulder. The PA in the ortho's office was telling us that he used to work in a pain management office and left because he couldn't take the games peeps played to get more drugs. (sorry - it's what he said)

As I've moved along through the doctor chain I am wondering just where a pain management doctor would fit in. My ortho had started me on a muscle relaxant. When I went to the neurologist he took over that prescription and added a nerve relaxant. Neither gets rid of the pain, it really just dulls it a little. I never was offered more or asked for more. Now I'm going through consults with surgeons and they certainly aren't offering anything.

I'm just not sure I understand how the pain management doctor fits into the picture. I can't imagine the neurologist sending me to someone else. If I have surgery I am guessing that I would go back to the neurologist for follow-up care including PT. Or is this where the PM doctors come in?

I'm very wary of all doctors these days. I have been burned a few times by doctors who are more interested in keeping me coming back instead of getting the proper treatment. PM scares me more than anything because this is a doctor who can make you addicted to them.

So any info or thoughts would be appreciated.



  • Kris,

    I didn't go into pain management till there was a problem following the surgery. If your going to do surgery hopefully it fixes your problem and you won't have anymore pain following the surgery. Now if you weren't doing surgery and looking for another option then a pain management doctor would be a good choice.
  • I understand your concern and your apprehension about pain management. I had surgery in March, and was still having pain. So a few weeks ago, I visited my surgeon yet again, and they suggested a visit with PM. I had been prescribed several muscle relaxers/pain killers, but I didn't like taking them since they make me so loopy. She talked about the possibility of injections for the pain (which did not sound fun). After visiting the PM, I feel somewhat better. She was able to give me some ideas for pain as alternatives to pills. I was given a TENS unit that I can wear off and on during work. I was also given another similar contraption for home. It's a vest with electrode conductors. I wear it for 45 minutes - 15 minutes of that is electric stim, and the other 30 minutes is kind of like a massage. It works the muscles and is supposed to improve my muscle tightness and overall range of motion. I will be going back in a few weeks for a facet injection as well.

    Sorry this was long, but I wanted to give you an idea of what pain management has been like for me. I hope it helps.

    Best wishes!
  • Hi Kris,

    I'm not sure where a PM doctor fits into your particular situation, but hope you find this helpful.

    Over here in my part of the UK, we didn't have any such thing as, 'Pain Management' until a few years ago.

    A truly dedicated female doctor fought to have a 'PM Clinic' for those who had run out of options, but were still in pain. At that time she was a run-of-the-mill consultant and was finally allowed to start her clinic. Now, several years later, her 'Pain Management Clinic' is full-to-bursting with patients who've been down every single avenue and hit a brick wall.

    This lady's lowly 'Pain Clinic' was so helpful, that she was given an OBE (Order of the British Empire). A few years later, she was knighted, which is the highest honour that can be bestoyed by the Queen.

    This consultant is now, 'Professor Dame XYZ' and regularly on the news, all because she fought to start a Pain Clinic.

    Basically, when you've explored every other avenue, you're referred to the PM Clinic which helps with controlling the pain. They now run 'in-patient clinics' for those who are unable to sit/stand/walk without severe pain.

    In your position, I'd ask your PCP where PM fits in to your particular situation.

    Good luck to you!


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