This specialty is relatively new, although algology (the study of pain) has been present since before the age of Hippocrates. As studies advance our knowledge, understanding the mechanisms of pain generation allows us to practice more complex and useful therapies.
Pain Management as a specialty is concerned with the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of painful disorders. The diagnosis relies on a thorough history and pain-oriented physical examination, including interpretation of diagnostic tests, and may require specialized diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
The Pain Specialist serves as a consultant to Primary Care, Neurosurgical, and other physicians and consultants. They provide directed treatment such as medications, use of physical therapy, pain relieving procedures, which may be diagnostic as well, and then return the patient back to the care of the referring physician.
Sometimes it is not possible to completely eliminate all of the patient’s pain. Our goal, however, is to provide functional restoration so that patients may resume as much of a normal life as possible.
Although many neurosurgical afflictions are best treated by operative measures, a majority are treated successfully by conservative procedures that deal with pain management via injections, nerve blocks and neuromodulation techniques.