Health professionals in many fields have completed specialized training in pain management. Currently, there is no single field of medicine or health care that represents the preferred approach to pain management. Indeed, the premise of pain management is that a highly multidisciplinary approach is essential.
Pain management specialists are most commonly found in the following disciplines:
- Physiatry (also called Physical medicine and rehabilitation)
- Interventional radiology
- Physical therapy
Specialists in psychology, psychiatry, behavioral science, and other areas may also play an important role in a comprehensive pain management program.
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Most pain management specialists are seen by referral from a physician. Any patient who feels it is appropriate should consult his or her physician about a pain management program.
Pain management specialists are most often called upon to treat:
- Severe back pain
- Challenging chronic pain
- Failed back surgery syndrome
Patients should keep in mind that there are many varieties of pain management programs to explore. This process can be confusing or frustrating at times, but the important point is to work proactively with one's health professionals and not to give up if one initially encounters an unsatisfactory result.
While this process can be a significant challenge for patients enduring intense pain, once patients find an approach that they are comfortable with, it is likely that their condition and pain levels should improve.
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