What does a pain management doctor do?

When a patient is referred to a pain management doctor, there are a lot of possible treatment options that can be applied

The first and most important job of the pain management doctor is to gather as much information about your condition as possible. Your pain management clinic may need consultation reports from other specialists such as neurologist, physical medicine doctors and surgeons. Also, any results such as MRI’s, CT’s, X-Rays and nerve tests can have an impact on how quickly and accurately a pain doctor can decide what the best course of treatment for you may be.

The first and most important job of the pain management doctor is to gather as much information about your condition as possible

The second most important task is to find out in detail, what types of treatments have already been performed and how beneficial they were in relieving your pain especially injection therapy. Because different injections affect different key structures in your back, a detailed history of your response to these injections can save time and help identify the best procedure for you going forward. Even if your relief from previous injections was short, it still helps the pain doctor be more precise and complete. Sometimes repeating the treatments even with small adjustments can have a dramatic impact.

Once it is determined what the best 1st approach would be, the pain management doctor will spend time explaining the treatment, and what your expectations should be after. Always remember, even when injections are being done to relieve your pain, they are also being used as a diagnostic tool, identifying specific structures as either your main cause of pain or as just a contributing factor.

Once the best injections treatment is established and delivered, mild non-narcotic medications can be enlisted to further dampen your pain sensations. These can be nerve blockers, anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxers or non-narcotic pain relievers. Also, the pain doctor will decide when exercise, physical therapy or chiropractic manipulations can be used to improve your flexibility, strength and stamina.

If your pain recurs, the pain doctor will be there to continue your program in a safe and sustainable way. The pain management team at University Pain Clinic of Rochester is always available to assist you in navigating this process in a timely and professional way.


Spencer Bertram, M.D. is a Pain Management Doctor practicing at University Pain Clinic of Rochester in Rochester, Michigan


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