What To Look For When Choosing A Pain Doctor

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, which may result from things like back injury, nerve damage, fibromyalgia and even cancer. However, most cases of chronic pain are believed to be caused by injury to the lower back from job-related activities. The prevailing belief is that your body heals and recovers more efficiently when it's not experiencing pain and there are numerous ways to deal with it. Choosing a pain doctor is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Things like treatment options offered, disposition of the staff and surroundings and the doctor's experience level and reputation matter immensely.

The first and most important consideration when choosing a doctor to help you manage your chronic pain should be their reputation and degree of experience. Feel free to ask the clinic's staff or the doctor himself regarding education, degrees and number of years in practice. If there are other patients in the waiting room or if you personally know anyone who has been to that particular doctor, it can't hurt to ask their opinion of the services. Thanks to technology, you may even be able to find out all about the doctor just by searching online. If you don't like what you see, it can save you a lot of time and money.

The next thing to look for is the range of treatment methods offered. Most clinics that specialize in chronic pain management employ a number of techniques and medications to help patients. Many sufferers of chronic pain have already tried several prescription drugs and other procedures which did not work for them, so it's necessary for a prospective pain doctor to be open to using cutting-edge treatments in order to offer their patients the best possible chance of relieving their pain.

The doctor isn't the only person you will have to deal with during your pain treatments. Nurses, receptionists and other medical professionals will also be there to perform essential tasks that contribute to the success of your pain management. The more comfortable you feel around them, the better. It's well known that the stress of being in an unwelcoming or hostile environment can impede healing and make pain worse. It's very common for a nurse or other staff to be the first people you interact with during your visit, as they will likely take your medical history, vital signs and any other pertinent information before the doctor sees you.

As a new patient, it's recommended that you make an appointment to consult with the doctor and staff at your prospective pain clinic in order to determine how comfortable they make you feel and how supportive they are of your desires.

One common problem faced by some pain patients is their doctor's reluctance to use certain treatment options, such as narcotic drugs. This usually occurs due to moral issues, government pressure or excessive worry about dependency issues, but it often results in patients being under-medicated or denied pain medication altogether. You should be certain that your doctor is willing to dispense medication if it helps alleviate your pain.

Insurance coverage is also a vital consideration to make. The treatments for chronic pain are very expensive and most people cannot afford to pay for it all out of their own pocket. Before you make any appointments, check that the clinic accepts your insurance carrier. You will also need to find out whether the particular remedies you receive are covered by your policy. If not, you could be left holding an awfully big bag.

It's also helpful if you can receive your pain treatments at a clinic which is close to home. Many such clinics require you to make monthly visits in order to keep getting your medications and many people can't afford to make a long trip that frequently, especially if they're in pain. It also makes emergency visits practical. If there's a problem with your pain or treatments, it's important to see your doctor as soon as possible, get your doctor now.

Author's Bio: 

Freelance writer.