Pain management

From WikiMD's Wellnesspedia

Pain management, also known as pain medicine, is a branch of medicine devoted to identifying, treating, and managing pain. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating various strategies to alleviate suffering and enhance the quality of life for individuals with chronic pain.


The specialty of pain management involves the analysis of pain's etiology, the prevention of pain, and the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons in pain. Some conditions requiring pain management include post-operative pain, neuropathic pain, and chronic diseases such as cancer.

Interdisciplinary Approach

Pain management teams often consist of medical practitioners, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, nurses, and dentists. The team may also include other mental health specialists and massage therapists. Pain medicine specialists utilize various treatment modalities including medication management, physical therapy, and psychological counseling, to address the different aspects of chronic pain.

Treatment Modalities

Treatment in pain medicine may include one or more of the following:

  • Pharmacological measures, such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antidepressants
  • Interventional procedures, including nerve blocks, spinal injections, and implantable drug delivery systems
  • Physical therapy or exercise
  • Psychological measures, including biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Complementary and alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and chiropractic treatment

Pain Management Techniques

Advanced techniques in pain management may include:

  • Epidural steroid injections: Delivering steroids directly into the epidural space to reduce inflammation.
  • Nerve blocks: Injecting medication into a specific area of the nerve to manage pain.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation: Using heat generated by radio waves to target specific nerves and interfere with their ability to transmit pain signals.

Chronic Pain and Quality of Life

Chronic pain can have a profound impact on an individual's quality of life, affecting physical, emotional, and mental health. Pain management specialists work to not only treat pain but also address these multifaceted aspects of a patient's well-being.

Training and Certification

Physicians specializing in pain management usually complete a fellowship in pain medicine after their residency training. They may come from various primary specialties including anesthesiology, neurology, or psychiatry. Certification is typically granted by the respective boards in these areas of medicine.


The typical pain management team includes medical practitioners, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, nurses, and dentists

List of Pain management doctors (USA)


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD