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A 29-year-old male asked:

Do pain doctors focus on diagnostics first? i was referred to one by my primary. i am concerned since i'm most places i read that pain doctors focus on "pain management" and i really want to know why

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cody Mead
Family Medicine 13 years experience
Not Usually: Hopefully, by the time someone gets to a pain specialist, their family doc has already figured out the diagnosis. Then, their job is to just manage pain. There shouldn't be too many cases where the pain manager has to do diagnostics. Hope this helps!
Dr. Sauman Rafii
13 years experience
They should: A good pain management doctor will take a thorough history and physical and review any images or laboratory studies pertaining with your pain in order to diagnose the source of your pain. Pain is not a diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been established for your chronic pain, then an appropriate treatment plan will be developed (physical modalities, injections, medications, for example.).
Dr. Stephen Watson
Pain Management 39 years experience
Cause of pain: It is imperative to figure out the cause of the pain to be able to know what to do to effectively treat and DIMINISH the pain. There are so many different underlying causes of pain that not firmly grasping the cause of the pain, it is very easy to prescribe the wrong treatment/medications/therapy. "Pain management," suggests the attempt to at least decrease the pain to manageable levels.
Last updated Nov 28, 2017

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