In need of a pain management doctor in Tulsa? We can help! Find out why your primary care physician (PCP) may have referred you to pain management and how this can impact your daily life.

Chronic pain isn’t always associated with an accident or injury. In fact, the CDC estimates that more than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain. Living with chronic pain can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and may even interfere with mental health.

If you’ve been experiencing chronic pain, your primary care physician (PCP) may have referred you to a pain management specialist. If you or your loved ones aren’t entirely sure what this means, don’t worry. This transfer of care can be a true gift to many. The end goal is to help you find sustainable relief so you can get back to the activities you love the most.

Pain Management Clinics Address Pain Differently

PCPs specialize in a broad range of medical care but on a generalized basis. In other words, PCP visits mostly center on sudden illness, minor injuries, and management of certain diseases. For other issues, including treating chronic pain, it could be time to seek the help of a specialist.

Pain management specialists handle pain management differently. Typically, their focus is finding the most holistic path to pain relief possible.

A pain management clinic may:

  • Run diagnostic tests and administer physical assessments to determine the cause of your pain.
  • Assess your current treatment plan.
  • Develop a course of treatment with you to help give you better, longer-lasting results.
  • Determine whether or not surgical intervention is necessary.

Your PCP may only have the capability to treat aches on a temporary basis with anti-inflammatory or other medications. Discovering and treating the exact cause of pain and how to manage or eliminate it is better accomplished by a specialized team of professionals.

Why Is My Doctor Sending Me to Pain Management?

There can be a myriad of reasons why your doctor refers someone to pain management. For instance, if you’ve recently had surgery and are under the care of a surgeon, residual pain that outlasts their ability and scope of post-surgical care may merit a referral to pain management. Additionally, pain that lasts more than three months is typically considered chronic. It’s almost always treated by specialists skilled in pain management strategies.

Your doctor may refer you to pain management if your pain… :

  • Lasts longer than three months and the interventions they gave you haven’t been successful in giving you relief
  • Interferes with your ability to function and accomplish your daily activities or your work.
  • Affects your mood, causing you depression, anxiety, or stress.
  • Causes other underlying health conditions to worsen (i.e., blood pressure, heart rate, mental health, or more).

When pain is causing a major life disruption, a pain management doctor can continue your treatment. With that, you can gain access to therapies a PCP may not prescribe.

How Might a Pain Management Doctor Treat My Pain?

Many people fear that a referral to pain management means more or less medication and the involvement of procedures that could be invasive. This is almost never the case. A pain management doctor works with their team and other outside professionals to help adjust your current treatment plan. They’re there to help you find more relief in the most holistic manner possible.

Some of the ways a pain management doctor might treat you can include the following measures:

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

During this procedure, radio waves disrupt the communication between nerves that emit pain signals to the brain. This effectively “shuts off” the nerves’ ability to send these signals, giving a person a much-needed respite.

This treatment is generally well tolerated and can give someone with chronic pain relief that lasts between 3 to 12 months. There’s no guarantee this treatment will work for everyone, but a systematic review of the efficacy of RFA for individuals with certain types of chronic pain concluded that it could be a viable option for feeling better.

Physical Therapy

You may have already had physical therapy and perhaps experienced suboptimal results. If so, the thought of more physical therapy may not sound useful. A pain management clinic could be able to determine with greater accuracy the exact cause of your distress and order and/or administer physical therapy techniques.

Working with a physical therapist can help prevent mobility loss and improve mobility and the ability to ambulate without pain.

Drug Therapy

Acute pain is often treated with over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers and topical pain-relieving creams. In some cases, pain is so severe that opioid pain relievers may be prescribed. These drugs are not intended to address chronic pain.

Opioids are linked to addiction, and long-term NSAID use is linked to health issues like ulcers, headaches, and more. Using them for longer than the prescribed period can lead to negative health outcomes.

A pain management doctor works diligently to check the pain medications taken are safe, effective, and necessary for a patient’s continued treatment. They may also offer options for helping people who have become opioid dependent as a result of attempting to manage their pain.

Injectable Drug Therapy

Your team can employ the use of injectable drugs to relieve physical distress. The use of corticosteroid shots and nerve-blocking injections is useful in treating chronic pain in certain areas of the body.

These injections are usually administered under local anesthesia (the area where the injection is administered is numbed to make the injection more comfortable). Results from these types of injections often last longer than other types of oral and/or topical medications.

Nerve and Muscle Assessments

Determining the root cause of a person’s chronic pain can involve numerous layers of physical and diagnostic testing. As part of the course, a pain management doctor may administer tests to help determine whether nerve function is optimal or compromised. They may also investigate how potentially damaged nerves can affect musculoskeletal movement and contribute to discomfort.

Determining the location of damaged nerves can help your doctor better address your specific needs and focus therapies and treatments on the areas where the pain originates.

Regenerative Medicine

Pain management doctors may also employ regenerative medicine to help restore your body to a level of comfort that allows you to enjoy your daily activities more. This branch of medicine involves the restoration and healing of damaged tissues. Tissue engineering, stem cell therapy, and gene therapy are all types of regenerative medicine.

One form of regenerative medicine frequently used involves the use of a person’s blood plasma. Platelet-rich plasma injections, or “PRP” injections use a person’s own blood plasma to promote healing. These options can improve a person’s quality of life and may even reduce their dependency on other therapies for comfort.

You’ll likely find more options for treatment at a pain management clinic than at your PCP’s office. Finding relief for pain is typically the sole focus of your care. A referral to pain management is often the next step in treating chronic pain and finding ways to manage it on a daily basis.

What Are the Benefits of My Doctor Sending Me to Pain Management?

While the transition to a completely new doctor and accompanying medical team can be challenging, the benefits of seeking the help of a pain management doctor outweigh the initial discomfort you may experience as you get to know your new team of providers.

  • Pain management doctors are experts in the field of pain. They understand how it manifests, what causes it to remain, and how to alleviate it.
  • Pain management clinics offer other avenues of support for their patients, like assistance with daily activities and methods for improving their lives.
  • A pain management doctor can work with your other medical professionals to help address other aspects of your health that may be affected by your pain (like blood pressure or mental health).

Your referral to pain management is a positive event in your journey to peace. Click the link to find a pain management doctor in Bartlesville, and get started with a compassionate and caring team of professional pain management specialists today.

Getting the Care You Need

You’ve got the referral; now, get the care you deserve. A referral to pain management can be a huge turning point in your care and help improve your quality of life. For a skilled pain management doctor in Stillwater, click the link and let us schedule you for a consultation.

You deserve to live a life without pain. Meeting with a pain management doctor is a giant leap in the direction of relief.


Working Together With Your Doctor to Manage Your Pain | CDC

What does a pain management doctor do?| Medical News Today

Chronic Pain | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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


Anesthesia: What It Is, Side Effects, Risks & Types | Cleveland Clinic

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