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What exactly does a pain management doctor do?

ajamiesonaajamieson Posts: 65
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Pain Management
I have to go outside of my insurance to see a pain management doctor that is not too far from where I live. The initial consultation is $300.00. Is this a lot? And, what does the doctor do? I am going to have surgery but it won't be until January at the rate I am going and I need some help to cope in the meantime. I really don't want more drugs. I've tried a ton of them and I haven't had any luck. Is there something they can do that doesn't involve taking more drugs? Is this going to be a waste of $300? What do you guys think?

About me: thrown from my horse 9/28/09. 4 fractured lumbar vertebrae, 2 bulging disks, DDD, the foreman on the left is crushed causing excruciating sciatic pain. So far I've been on a ton of meds (dilaudid, vicodin, percocet, volataren, flexerill, nortryptaline...). I react to the big pain killers by becoming WIDE AWAKE but the pain doesn't really go away.

Thanks, Ann


  • Injections that may temporarily relieve some of your pain. The 1st doc that I ever found that could help me was a Pain Management doc so I am all for PM docs. There are lots of things that they can offer besides the meds.

    Good luck.
  • You could also look for a physiatrist. They were the specialty that always used to do the injections and pain management before anesthesiologists started branching out into pain management a number of years ago. In addition to managing medications, giving injections, nerve blocks, facet blocks, etc. they also try to help patients get back on their feet using methods other than surgery. Perhaps a physiatrist ( "Doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation" is the proper name for insurance purposes)might be in your insurance network.

    You could start on a drug for nerve pain, such as Lyrica or gabapentin which might help your sciatic pain. These specialists are trained to figure out what will work best for your particular case.
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  • Gwennie is right. Try a Phsiatrist and see if you insurance will pay for that. I had to see 2 physiatrists before I found one that would take a long term pain management approach. From my experience, some of them only deal with acute (temporary) conditions while others are happy to deal with chronic issues and assume an ongoing pain management role. Give it a shot. I know my insurance was much more amenable to a physiatrist over a PM doc. Good luck!
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