A pain doctor is also called a pain specialist or a pain management physician. These highly-specialized doctors not only diagnose conditions, but also coordinate proper treatment, and give ongoing care for pain patients until they are sure of their wellness. They deal most often with chronic pain patients who experience symptoms for three months or beyond. A pain management physician knows the physiology of pain and carries out specialized tests to diagnose complex pain conditions. Pain management specialists give proper medications and therapies to treat pain. 

Although opioids can treat some kinds of pain, they should not be the first line of treatment when there is a feeling of pain in any part of the body. Many minimally invasive steps are involved in taking care of pain (nerve blocks and spinal injections), physical therapy, and non-narcotic therapies that afford the patient to return to normal daily activities without the use of opioids. A pain management physician develops a treatment plan that is aimed toward relieving, reducing, or managing pain. The pain management doctor helps patients return to everyday activities quickly without surgical operation or heavy reliance on medication. In different cases, the pain management physician coordinates care with a group of health professionals to satisfy all the patient’s needs. This is important in that different things can be traced to a particular pain, and bringing different eyes to work helps to quickly diagnose and ensure fast treatment of the patient.

That team of professionals may include: Physiatrists, Anesthesiologists, Internists, Oncologists, Surgical Specialists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists. In addition, the pain management physician watches the patient’s ability to do what is expected and their overall quality of life. They treat the whole patient, not just certain parts of the body. While a primary care doctor can and should help in some cases, for advanced cases of pain, they will likely refer their patient to a pain management physician for proper treatment. A pain management doctor has gone through an additional one-year fellowship in pain management after their general residency which qualifies them as the proper go-to for any and every kind of pain you may be experiencing in your body.