Once you receive a referral to pain management, it’s likely you are already suffering from pain that your primary care doctor has labeled chronic. Chronic pain can negatively impact a person’s quality of life and even their mental health. Seeing a new doctor may feel overwhelming and exhausting.

Your Tulsa pain management doctor and their team understand that chronic pain dramatically changes your life and that starting a new journey of care can be challenging. Together, we’ll discuss what happens at your first pain management appointment and how your course of treatment may change so you know what to expect.

Your First Appointment

Your first appointment at a pain management clinic might include the collection of pertinent information as it relates to your pain. You’ll be asked questions and need to produce documentation of prior treatment. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted and possibly asked to fill out paperwork if you have not already done so before your visit.

What Information Your Pain Management Doctor Needs

Although you’re likely already used to a barrage of questions from your current care team, your doctor will likely ask different questions and have more in-depth explanations to help you express your level of pain in a way that helps them hone in on its cause. You’ll want to have a record or be able to recall to memory the following:

  • Dates when the discomfort first started when it increased or decreased.
  • Details about any accidents you’ve had or injuries that may relate to the pain you are experiencing.
  • Information and records of prior procedures you’ve had, including surgeries, therapies, and referrals to other doctors.
  • A list of all medications you currently take, and a history of medications you have previously taken for your ailment.
  • Contact information for your current care team, including your primary care physician (PCP), physical therapists, chiropractors, and mental health professionals, if you see them regarding stress or moods as they relate to your pain levels.

Many patients find it easier to write this information down or type it up so that they don’t have to recall it from memory during their visit.

What to Bring

When scheduling your initial consultation with a Bartlesville pain management doctor or similar nearby location, you may be asked to bring records of prior treatment, including any diagnostic testing results and bloodwork. Have these with you at your first pain management appointment or have these records sent to your new care team beforehand.

Bring a state-issued I.D. card, a copy of any insurance information you have, including secondary insurance, your referral (if necessary), and your copayment if you have one. If you aren’t sure if you have a copayment, contact the office leading up to your visit.


During the initial visit, a pain management doctor talks to you about your pain levels, how it affects your daily life, and what other treatments you have tried. They’ll also ask questions about prior diagnostic tests.

Your doctor may wish to perform a physical examination to determine your current mobility level, assess your movement, and determine whether additional diagnostic testing is necessary. If it is, it’s unlikely those tests would be run on the same day as an initial appointment.

Evaluation and Course of Treatment

After examination, your doctor may discuss further treatment options with you (although every case is unique). This may include additional testing to further identify the root cause of your pain, and/or to determine if there have been any changes to your body since the dates of your last diagnostic exam.

If further testing is needed, your doctor may not be able to give you a firm course of treatment until the results of the tests are reviewed. If additional testing is not needed, your doctor might discuss a course of treatment for you. They should make sure you understand how treatments work and how they could help.

Scheduling and Discharge

Once you’ve met with your pain management doctor, a member of the team can assist you with scheduling a follow-up appointment and help you obtain referrals for diagnostic testing if needed. If your copay has not already been collected, it can be collected at this time.

Once you get home, it’s important to follow your doctor’s care instructions and to make diagnostic testing appointments as soon as possible. The sooner you can get these tests completed, the sooner your medical team can determine how best to care for you.

What Does a Pain Management Doctor Do?

Transferring to a new doctor for your pain management can be intimidating, and some patients may be nervous about how pain management works. Patients often feel anxiety about changing medications, trying new therapies, or adding additional therapeutic appointments to an already busy schedule.

Having a clear understanding of what a pain management doctor does and how a typical treatment plan may look can help alleviate some of the stress associated with starting your pain management treatment.

Here’s what your pain management doctor can do to help their patients feel better:

Diagnose Pain

Whether you had an accident or injury that caused you to experience pain, the pain may still continue after your injuries have healed. This residual hurt can be caused by damaged nerves that are still sending signals to the brain that register as pain.

A pain management doctor can administer a nerve conduction study, which helps them determine the health of your nerves and how they interact with your muscles. This study can identify which nerves are damaged so your doctor can effectively treat them and help alleviate your pain.

Radiofrequency Ablation

In some cases, a pain management doctor may be able to use radio waves to disrupt the signals between nerves alerting the brain to physical stress. This provides relief that lasts longer than many other forms of treatment. Numerous studies report radiofrequency ablation as an effective way to deal with chronic pain.

Injectable Treatments

The use of epidural nerve blockers and injectable corticosteroids can help relieve suffering in specific areas that are longer lasting than oral medication and may have fewer side effects. During these injections, you may be given local anesthesia to numb the injection site. Most patients tolerate this treatment very well and find it helps decrease their aches more than many oral or topical medication options.

Drug Therapy

A pain management doctor generally goes over your current medications with you to see which ones are useful. They might recommend different medications if there are other options that could work better.

Some medications, like over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers and opioids, are only meant to be used for acute discomfort. If used for longer than the period they are prescribed, they may have negative health impacts.

Pain management doctors may also be able to help you eliminate the use of opioid pain relievers if you have become reliant on them as a result of your chronic pain. While reducing opioid use, your healthcare professionals can help to alleviate discomfort with other treatment options.

Regenerative Medicine

The use of regenerative medicine involves helping restore and repair damaged tissues in the body. Examples of this include stem cell therapy and plasma therapy. Pain management physicians may use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to help promote healing processes.

Working With Other Care Professionals

As part of your care, your pain management doctor can also work with other doctors and practitioners, like physical therapists and your primary care physician to help determine the best course of your care.

If your pain interferes with your daily life, your mental health, or other health conditions, your pain management doctor can work with your other care providers so that care plans work together — and not against.

Your First Pain Management Appointment: The First Step to a Better Life

Chronic pain is physically and mentally exhausting. Seeking care can be challenging for individuals who suffer. If you need the help of a Stillwater pain management doctor, follow the hyperlink for more information on our Walnut Street location. There, you can request an appointment and get started with a caring and professional team of pain management experts.

Our attentive staff of experts helps people identify what causes their struggles and helps them find sustainable solutions to living a healthier, more pain-free life.

No matter what your goals are, our team can help you reach them. We offer a fully integrated treatment plan that incorporates the most innovative and holistic pain management techniques available. We also offer solutions for helping you live easier with your aches, including sharing resources from mobility devices to other solutions for making your daily activities easier.


Chronic Pain: What Is It, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Mayo Clinic

Nerve Conduction Studies | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Radiofrequency Ablation’s Effectiveness for Treating Abdominal and Thoracic Chronic Pain Syndromes: A Systematic Review of the Current Literature | PubMed

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): Uses & Procedure Details | Cleveland Clinic

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