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How Often Should You Visit a Pain Specialist?

When you decide to make the first appointment with a pain management doctor, it usually means chronic pain interferes with daily activities and pain relief is needed quickly! People who experience painful injuries that take months to heal may also seek the help of a pain specialist. Dr. Manvar is a medical doctor that specializes in diagnosing the cause of the pain and develop a targeted treatment plan for pain relief, and the plan typically requires more than one visit. The actual number of visits will depend on what is causing the pain and the type of treatment recommended.

Seeing a Pain Management Doctor the First Time

When pain becomes unmanageable is when to see a pain management doctor. The pain can stem from numerous issues including acute sports injuries or chronic pain from fibromyalgia, joint pain, neuropathy, nerve pain from diabetes, migraines and many others. Check out our “Conditions” page to learn more about the types of pain we treat. Your family doctor, rheumatologist, physical therapist, neurologist, neurosurgeon, chiropractor or physiatrist will recommend that you visit a pain management specialist. The pain specialist has various treatment options that fall within four categories.

1. Interventional Therapies for Pain Blocking

Interventional therapies include injections of a steroid or local anesthetic to target nerves or muscles. This allows Dr. Manvar to treat the exact source of pain. The injections are completed in just a few seconds or minutes. Most patients get immediate relief and do not require any recovery time. These injections are a perfect way to become more functional without undergoing any surgery. Common injections performed in Dr. Manvar’s office are located on the “Services page.” Often, the injection needs to be repeated in order to provide the maximal improvement of pain.

Interventional therapies include injections of a steroid or local anesthetic to target nerves or muscles.

2. Medications

Over-the-counter non-opioid and prescription medicines are usually included in a pain management program. Prescription medicines may include non-opioids or opioids. Topical medications are included in this category. Any patient maintained on prescription medications will require a visit every 2-3 months to review effects of the medication and to make any adjustments if necessary.

3. Complementary Therapies

A pain management treatment plan will often include supplemental therapies like physical therapy, transcutaneous electro-nerve stimulator (TENS), Acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy or massage therapy.

4. Surgery

Surgery sometimes may relieve the medical condition causing the pain. However, surgery is always the last option employed.

An interesting study of the psychological aspect of interventional pain management found that many patients feel more empowered when the treatment plan integrates interventional therapies and rehabilitation-focused approaches. Most pain treatment plans use a mix of treatments like an interventional therapy and medications.

How Often Do You Go to Pain Management?

Though there are many treatment options and treatment plans widely vary to meet patient needs, you will continue seeing Dr. Manvar after the first appointment. The frequency and number of appointments depend on the type of treatments administered and whether the pain remains chronic.

For example, epidural steroid injections can be administered 3-4 times a year. However, suppose the injection treats a new medical issue, like a disc herniation. In that case, you may need to see the pain management specialist soon after the first injection to get a second injection and get better pain relief. If the pain persists after 2-3 injections, other treatment options are considered.

A pain management specialist coordinates treatments between all the doctors and health professionals helping you find pain relief, like a rheumatologist, your family doctor and other specialists. People experiencing chronic pain due to a particular medical issue, like a spinal condition, may have other health conditions they must continue to address, like diabetes or a heart condition. Coordination among medical professionals is essential to quality care.

Many pain management plans include coordinating appointments with dieticians, physical therapists and mental health professionals.

How to Find a Pain Management Doctor?

Knowing how to find a pain management doctor includes knowing how to find the right physician to meet your needs. The goal is to find a doctor with an excellent reputation for delivering quality patient care and a network of medical and health professionals for support. Some of the approaches include the following.

A major advantage of visiting us at Integrative Pain & Spine Institute is that Dr. Manvar is an expert in specializing in diagnosing and treating pain and has access to state-of-the-art medical treatments and the knowledge and expertise to treat pain quickly and effectively. The pain process is complex, and each case is unique as we create a treatment plan specific for you! Other advantages of our office includes:

  • New patients scheduled within 1-2 weeks
  • NO referral needed
  • All major insurances accepted (including medicare, tricare, VA, worker’s comp, Aetna, Cigna, BCBS, UHC)
  • Reduced cost compared to other pain doctors at hospitals since there is no costly facility fee
  • A referral specialist in the office to coordinate your care quickly
  • An AMAZING team who works hard together to get your pain under control

Managing Instead of Enduring Pain

Before making the appointment, you can ask questions about the available treatments the clinic offers, experience with treating your source of pain and the basic approach to pain management. Too many people hesitate to ask questions when they have every right to do so.

If you don’t know how how to prepare for your first appointment, check out the post.

Sometimes, if your chronic pain has made life unbearable, your primary care doctor can help you get the first appointment sooner rather than later. The important point is to be proactive in dealing with chronic pain. There are so many pain treatments and therapies available today that most people suffering with chronic pain can live a higher quality life by following a customized pain treatment plan.

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