When pain results as part of a medical condition, it’s logical to think that your primary care physician is your go-to source for pain management, and usually that’s the case. However, there are other times when pain itself is the condition, whether due to your body’s deterioration or as a result of an untreatable source cause. In this case, a better option for you may be a pain management specialist, as your primary care physician or as part of your treatment team.
Pain management certification
Becoming a pain management specialist first requires four years of premedical studies followed by four years of medical school. Pain specialists can develop their skills and knowledge within a range of specialties, since board certification in pain management is available in several disciplines, such as anesthesiology, physical medicine, and neurology, as well as pain management as its own discipline.
Dr. Nassiri of Westside Pain Specialists holds dual certifications as a diplomate of both the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Pain Medicine. This dedicated, extensive training makes Dr. Nassiri an excellent choice when you’re faced with hard-to-treat chronic pain issues.
Pain management techniques
There’s often more than one way to approach pain relief, depending on the cause, the severity of the pain, and how a patient responds to treatment. For example, someone with osteoarthritis affecting their knees could be treated with pain and anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, or injectable treatments. Effective treatment could include any or all of these techniques, though the combinations may vary among patients.
A pain management physician specializes in understanding how to diagnose and treat the origins of pain so that the best match between pain and patient can be made. This typically requires review of a patient’s prior medical history, other current conditions that may influence treatment, as well as their lifestyle to assure a pain management regimen is sustainable. The pain management specialist is well-placed to provide alternatives if you don’t respond to one method.
Pain management methods
Like many fields of medicine, pain management constantly evolves and refines. Currently, regenerative techniques such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies are entering the collection of pain management methods. It’s thought that these techniques reduce pain by helping your body’s own repair systems work more efficiently.
Other common pain management methods include:
- Oral medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and opioids
- Injection-based treatments, such as corticosteroids, trigger point injections, PRP
- Implantable devices such as medication pumps and spinal cord stimulators
- Physical, occupational, and recreational therapy
In addition to these pain management methods, complementary treatments often address the mental state of the pain sufferer. Techniques such as hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation, relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy can help you manage the stress that chronic pain can often create.
For effective management of pain, regardless of its underlying cause, you need a medical professional who understands the physiology of pain and who stays current with the latest developments in pain management methods. In the Beverly Hills and Rancho Cucamonga areas, Dr. Nassiri and the team at Westside Pain Specialists are your partners in successful relief of chronic pain. Call or click to arrange a consultation today.