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Pain Management Clinic


Topic Overview

Chronic pain often requires both counseling and medical treatment, because it can have a wearing effect on both the body and the mind. At a pain management clinic, you can get multidisciplinary treatment from a team of specialists, including:

  • Physiatrists. These medical doctors specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation. They often coordinate a chronic pain treatment team.
  • Psychologists or counselors. They teach cognitive-behavioral skills for managing pain, anxiety, and depression.
  • Physical therapists. They teach exercises for improving and maintaining strength, function, and mobility.
  • Doctors who prescribe pain medicine and are skilled in pain management devices and procedures. These doctors include neurologists, anesthesiologists, physiatrists or physical medicine specialists, internists, and family medicine doctors.
  • Doctors who prescribe medicine for supporting mental health. These doctors include psychiatrists and family medicine doctors.
  • A nurse or social worker to help coordinate care.

Other specialists, such as complementary medicine providers, may also be available in a chronic pain management clinic. These specialists meet to share information and make sure that care is coordinated.

Some chronic pain clinics have a stronger emphasis on invasive treatment, such as injections and surgical procedures, than others. Look for a clinic that offers you a choice of noninvasive treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy. Before having an invasive pain treatment, ask your doctor about his or her experience with that treatment. Also, ask about research that shows how well it works for your condition.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Last RevisedJanuary 20, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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