What is a Pain Management Clinic?
At its core, a pain management clinic (PMC) is a group of healthcare providers that work together to provide effective treatments for patients struggling with long term pain. This can be a division within a larger network (such as the Mayo Clinic’s Pain Rehabilitation Center), part of a university or hospital, or an independent practice.
People come to pain management clinics with a variety of diagnoses or, in many cases, because other healthcare providers have been unable to find a diagnosis for them. But all are looking for ways to lessen their pain and increase their ability to carry out the tasks of day-to-day life.
PMCs tend to use an interdisciplinary approach to treating pain, gaining insights from many different areas of medicine to provide comprehensive solutions to their patients. Often these providers have pursued advanced training in alleviating and minimizing incurable chronic pain. Other clinic staff can include nurses, physical therapists, acupuncturists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and medical assistants.
The First Appointment
Before making an appointment, check out the facility’s website to get an idea of the range of treatments on offer as well as who is on the staff. On the day, you may wish to arrive a little early to give yourself some time to fill out paperwork, though many clinics will also email documents to you ahead of time if it’s easier for you to complete them at home.
In your appointment, the clinician will go over your general medical history in addition to taking a detailed look at the issues for which you’re seeking treatment. It may be helpful for you to prepare a timeline that shows when your symptoms first appeared, what treatments you’ve already tried, and how effective (or not) those treatments were.
Be sure to bring any relevant blood work results, as well as copies of relevant x-rays, MRIs, or other diagnostic tests. The clinician may also order more diagnostic procedures as necessary. These can be performed either at the pain management facility or other local facilities.
You and the clinician will also discuss your goals, not only for managing chronic pain but also for your life in general, and the role clinic staff can play in helping you become better able to achieve them.
Before you engage in any therapies, you and your clinic team will develop a Chronic Pain Management Plan (CPMP). A CPMP details what therapies you and your team will pursue, your goals for those therapies, and how you will assess your progress towards those goals.
While there are residential pain management programs, most clinics work on an outpatient basis. There are a wide variety of treatments clinics may offer, ranging from major surgical procedures to patient support groups and many things in between.
The overall purpose of these treatments, however, is the same: alleviating as much pain as reasonably possible, while empowering the patient to manage continuing pain and improve their quality of life. Depending on the patient’s needs and goals, this can include:
- Procedures such as nerve blocks and epidurals
- Physical and occupational therapy to rebuild muscle and improve flexibility
- Mental health treatments such as psychotherapy, meditation, and calming techniques
- Non-invasive therapies such as massage or applications of heat or cold
- Classes and workshops on topics such as improvements in diet and exercise or new discoveries in pain management
- Educational resources for patients and the family and friends who support them
While patients come into pain management clinics with many different conditions, most leave with significant improvements in symptoms and, perhaps just as important, confidence in their ability to effectively manage their pain and get back to the business of living.Leave a reply
You made a great point about how you should make sure that you discuss your goals with the clinician and making sure that your needs are met. My husband and I just moved to Adel, GA and we want to make sure that we have a good relationship with a good medical clinic. We will keep these tips in mind in our search for that professional.Reply
Thank you for explaining that a pain management clinic is a group of providers who help treat patients struggling with long term pain. My dad has been having difficulty with some pain in his neck for a while. I think he should find a clinic that offers pain relief therapy treatment to possibly help get him some relief.Reply
I appreciated it when you pointed out that the goal of a pain management clinic is to alleviate pain as much as possible so they get to improve the quality of their lives. My cousin was involved in a major car accident last month and he was hospitalized for almost a week due to his severe injury. I will suggest him to go to a pain management clinic as I noticed that he seems to experience some discomfort even after being discharged from the hospital.Reply
To exit without the answers to the difficulties you have sorted out through this guide is a critical case, as well as the kind which could have badly affected my entire career if I discovered your website.Reply
I’ve been person with lots of pain since 2000, I rolled over a piece of heavy equipment while at work, I had my lower three vertebra fused with rods and pins, lost my spleen, split my sternum, fractured my head and broke my left ankle. Im happy Im alive, I had 3 young children, I was sent to pain management dr, he was my age 31, just starting in his own practice and I was placed on Oxycontin, before long i was getting 300mg daily and I was doing well, making a lot of money all was good, oil people started dropping like flies and suddenly I was cut off after 13 years, it lead to a serious herion addiction, it made me a felon along the way, now 22 years after being hurt I am still struggling with addiction , I feel that I was misinformed, then given way too much medication, if the dr didn’t see i was abusing it he was blind or just didn’t give a shit, I long to be free, i am 52, I put my kids through college, never got any sis/disability, but its left me full of anxiety, stress, still have same old pain issues, still use, I am one in a million, I did what I had to and I escaped death or prison, but its poisoned my 32 year marriage, to a wonderful mother and wife, my kids knew what I was doing, it took so much time away from them, I tried to change, went to methadone clinic, they just swapped one opiod for another, except this one was legal, I started drinking four months ago, I wish I could really get help, I would give anything tho have a normal existence,so all you out there who are using just to use, let me tell you without a doubt its a losing proposition , theres no glamor ,,no one who’s got your back, its a lonely dealing you get to watch many friends die way too early, be smart stay away from it at all costReply
I’ve been having issues with chronic pain, and I don’t want to take medicine for it. It makes sense that getting a a pain management professional to help me out with this would be beneficial. That seems like a good way to ensure that I use the right methods to fix this pain.Reply
I really liked your content related to Pain Management. You have well explained it.Reply