According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 million people live with chronic pain. If you live in New York City and have arthritis, chronic spine, joint or back pain, you may need to seek the services of a pain management clinic to help you get back to an active, healthy life.
What is a pain management clinic?
A pain management clinic is a health care facility that provides diagnosis, management, and treatment of severe pain. Its staff typically consists of multiple medical professionals who specialize in different areas of pain management. If you’ve recently been referred to a pain management practice in New York, NY, the chances are that you are interested in knowing all of the details of what exactly to expect. This article will offer you all of the necessary information to help you understand this and make most of your appointments.
What happens at the pain management clinic?
The first visit to a pain management clinic usually involves an appointment with a board-certified pain management physician or physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, general practitioner, nurse practitioner, medical assistant, or internist. During the visit, the healthcare provider will perform a thorough but minimally invasive assessment to determine the cause of your acute or chronic pain. You might undergo one or more of the following during the appointment:
- A consultation about your medical history
- A pain assessment
- A detailed focused physical examination
- Diagnostic tests or imaging using state of the art equipment
In some cases, additional diagnostic tests may be required to further determine the root cause of your pain. This assessment ensures your health and pain history, among other things, are considered to develop a personalized care plan that is unique to your needs, the most appropriate and best treatment for your condition, and addresses the most accurate evidence-based diagnosis.
After your assessment appointment and your results are gathered, the medical team will typically hold a multi-disciplinary conference to chart a customized treatment plan. Finally, you will be given a report of findings about your diagnosis and treatment advice based on the totality of the evaluation. Depending on the severity of your chronic pain, an appointment for a consultation with different highly trained pain specialists within the practice may be suggested. The specialists may include the following professionals:
- Interventional Pain Management Specialist
Other specialists at a multi-disciplinary pain management clinic in New York may include occupational therapists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors. These experts will discuss, at length, the types of the different treatment options available to you. The plan will help you manage your pain and other symptoms, while increasing your daily functioning. You will usually be required to attend the facility for about an hour per day for a set number of weeks agreed upon by both you and your doctor.
While pain management clinics in New York offer varying treatment plans, they all share the same goals:
- To give you the tools to better manage your pain
- To increase your level of function and confidence
- To provide scientific, evidence-based education about pain
- To give you more control over your condition
Potential pain treatments
The challenge of effective pain management begins with a comprehensive assessment and individualized planning of treatment. This includes the appropriate use of interventional pain treatments, various medical procedures, and the management of typical consequences of persistent pain.
- Medication: You and your doctor will discuss your current pain medications and the potential treatment options available. They will talk to you about the side -effects of each medicine and how to take them safely.
- Pain relief injections: Some physicians may offer injection treatments that block the pain messages from the nerves or provide painkillers in a more concentrated way. Epidural injections, for instance, deposit medicine to the spinal cord to relieve lower back pain.
- Electrotherapy: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, popularly known as TENS, is an effective non-invasive technology that uses an electrical current to provide pain relief instead of medication.
- Therapeutic neuroscience education: Your pain specialist may schedule you for individual or group sessions of pain education during one of your routine appointments. These sessions teach patients the science behind what causes pain, including how your body processes the pain.
- Physical Therapy (PT): It is common for patients with chronic spine pain to avoid movement. This often leads to muscles being weak and pain increasing. In some cases, pain leads people to misuse drugs meant for pain relief. Physiotherapy provides an effective way for doctors to treat chronic pain without the use of medicine or surgery. Instead, a physiotherapist guides you through physical therapy to strengthen your body and teach you how to move your body with confidence without making your symptoms flare.
- Nutrition guidance: Some physicians may recommend that you see a dietitian or nutritionist in NYC who will help you embrace healthy eating and lifestyle habits. These specialists will work with you to create a diet or menu that will help you become fit while alleviating your pain.
How to find a pain management clinic in New York, NY
A pain-free life is vital, which is why it is essential to choose the right medical center. The right facility will make it easier for you to receive all the treatments you need to ease your pain. However, the sheer number of options available means that making a choice can be challenging. Take the following steps to find the right pain management program for you.
Start by asking your primary caregiver or specialist for a referral. You can also ask your family, friends, or other healthcare providers for recommendations.
Narrow down your list
Take time to research the clinics and their doctor’s credentials and experience. Some factors to consider when narrowing down your list include:
Board-certified medical practitioners: Board certifications are critical in the field of pain management. They are proof that doctors have the requisite skills and experience to provide pain management. Working with a clinic whose doctors are board-certified will make you feel comfortable receiving quality pain care.
Why use a Multi-disciplinary treatment team? The top pain management centers in New York involve a multi-disciplinary care team to provide holistic treatment of mind, body, and spirit. As such, your pain clinic of choice should include a mix of top-rated specialists who work together to create an individualized treatment plan.
The best treatment programs also rely on evidence-based practices that have been proven to offer long-term pain relief to patients.
Ask about insurance
Pain treatment in New York City can be expensive. As you narrow down your search, call each pain rehabilitation center to determine if they participate in your insurance plan. This will help you enjoy more benefits from your appointments while paying the least out-of-pocket for your care.
Finally, when looking for a good pain management clinic in New York, make sure to call the hospital to ask if they have a specialist who deals with your kind of pain. Whether you are suffering from chronic neck pain, back pain, or need spinal cord surgery for pain control, it is critical to choose a medical center specializing in and has a positive track record of treating patients with your specific need.
If you are looking for a local pain management clinic in New York City today, the Workers Comp doctor specialists would be happy to talk with you. Our directory offers top-rated board-certified pain management doctors and interventional therapies for all types of pain and injuries. Their state-of-the-art and evidence-based treatments are tailored to suit each patient’s needs. We explore a comprehensive array of minimally invasive and interventional pain treatments to offer you quick relief. Our goal is to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life, enabling you to live better. Call (888) 590-4030 today and get help finding and scheduling an appointment with an experienced pain management doctor near you.