If you’re in pain, you’re not alone. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20.4 percent of U.S. adults are affected by chronic pain. To put this in perspective, that’s just over 50 million Americans. This means that more people suffer from chronic pain than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined.
When it comes to finding a medical professional to help you effectively manage your pain, it can be hard to know where to start. Unless you have a direct referral from a general practitioner (and sometimes, even if you do), it can be incredibly complicated even to locate a specialist. If you want to ensure that your pain management doctor in Orlando is the right one for you, you’ll want to keep these factors in mind.
General Training and Expertise
Pain treatment is complicated, and the research on pain management is continuously evolving. A qualified pain management doctor will have an in-depth knowledge of the physiology of pain, the diagnostic tests used to pinpoint the cause of the pain, and how to perform pain relieving-procedures, such as facet joint injections. Additionally, in order to be certified as a pain specialist, your doctor must complete a pain management fellowship or hold current board certification by a specialty board, such as the American Board of Pain Medicine. Other specialty boards include the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians and the American Association of Physician Specialists.
If you’ve been asking, “Who is qualified to practice pain management near me?” Neil Patel, M.D., may be the answer. Dr. Patel is a highly-qualified pain management physician that completed a residency in anesthesiology and perioperative medicine and a postdoctoral fellowship in pain management. Not only does he consistently apply the most effective and cutting-edge treatment methods in pain management available to help his patients restore function and improve their quality of life, but he is also a member of several professional associations, including the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM).
Experience With Your Type of Pain
Next up, you’ll want to make sure that your pain management physician has experience treating your particular type of pain. Not all pain management doctors focus on the same types of pain, which means one doctor may primarily deal with chronic migraines, while another frequently assists with joint pain. This may not seem like a major difference, but you’ll learn quickly how important it is to have a doctor equipped with the knowledge of how to treat rheumatoid arthritis rather than cancer pain.
The more experience your pain management doctor has with your particular type of pain or painful condition, the better your results are likely to be. The best way to find this out is to either visit their website or directly ask your doctor about what kinds of pain patients they treat on a regular basis. Dr. Neil Patel, for example, handles five main types of pain: cancer pain, neck & back pain, nerve pain, joint pain, and head & shoulder pain.
Range of Treatment Options
Finally, you’ll want to find a pain management doctor in Orlando that offers a wide range of treatment options for your condition. Why? In the same way that we all experience pain differently, we also all respond differently to treatments. One patient with joint pain may experience immediate relief from a joint injection, while another patient may require cooled radiofrequency denervation to lessen the severity of their pain. And although opioids have their time and place in pain treatment, they can also pose serious risks. If the doctor you’re currently looking at focuses mainly on opioid prescriptions, you may want to consider choosing another doctor. For a doctor that believes in taking a customized approach in the evaluation and treatment plan for each patient to achieve the best outcome in terms of managing your pain and optimizing functionality, choose Dr. Neil Patel.