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 ascomplementary medicineproviders, 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.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy E. Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation