WHY SEE A PAIN SPECIALIST?
If you suffer from some type of chronic or long-lasting pain, chances are you have already seen your general or primary care physician for it. That's a good thing! GPs or PCPs have an abundance of medical knowledge to provide you with some relief. While they are your first resource for any health concern, one of the best ways your GP/PCP can help and support you is to refer you to a pain specialist who will provide thorough pain management care. After all, if you suffer from a chronic illness, for example, with your lungs, you will likely be referred to a pulmonologist (lung specialist), because they know more about the lungs.
WHAT A PAIN SPECIALIST CAN DO FOR YOU
Pain management providers are trained to treat and manage a wide variety of specific chronic pain issues, and are therefore fully equipped to answer any of your pain-related questions and can offer more insight in terms of outcome goals (i.e. what is it that you want to achieve from pain management and what is the best way to get there). They are dedicated to helping you achieve long term comfort and relief, instead of just a temporary one that you might find in your PCP or GP's office.
Nurse practitioner and pain specialist, Tabitha Garrison, of Shenandoah Pain & Palliative Care Clinic, has the appropriate equipment and trained individuals in her clinic to focus solely on managing patients' chronic pain. She states, "here in SPPCC, we have an in-house lab to quickly run any necessary tests, we have certain speciality equipment to help diagnose and alleviate any chronic pain symptoms, and in my 28 years of medical experience, I have been fully trained to work with chronic-pain patients, including the ability to prescribe proper medications that not all physicians are licensed to do. In fact, we have an in-house medical compliance officer that helps us navigate all the legalities of prescribing medications."
BENEFITS OF PAIN MANAGEMENT CARE
Overall, seeking pain management care allows an individual to work closely and consistently with a pain specialist who is experienced in creating the most suitable treatment plan for the individual's specific type of chronic pain. Having this consistent and customized treatment plan allows not just a temporary relief from symptoms, but overtime, leads to a higher chance of minimizing the severity of the pain for a long period of time, thus improving quality of life.