08 Sep How to Choose a Pain Management Doctor After Back Surgery
Did you recently schedule back surgery? The pain you experience after your procedure could affect your quality of life. You might find it difficult to work, play, or enjoy day-to-day activities.
Before post-surgery pain can affect your routine, consider visiting a pain management doctor. They can provide pain management solutions based on your distinct needs. With their help, you can take control of your pain before it takes control of you.
There are now over 204,000 pain management physicians across the US. However, not every doctor will have the experience and expertise you need.
Here are six tips that can help you narrow down your options, and help you find the physician you need for managing back pain after surgery.
1. Gather Referrals
First, talk to your friends and family members. Have any of them struggled with chronic lower back pain over the years? Ask if they’ve visited a pain management doctor for help.
Then, learn more about their experience. For example, you can ask:
- Was the doctor licensed and well-trained?
- Were they easy to understand?
- Were they knowledgeable and experienced?
- What pain management solutions did they suggest?
- Did their solutions work?
- Did you experience any problems?
If you can’t gather referrals from friends and family, that’s okay. Talk to your primary care physician instead. A doctor you trust could give you a list of pain specialists in Arizona.
Lastly, you can always search on Google for pain management specialists in your area.
2. Check Their Credentials
If you want to find the best pain doctor in Arizona, check each doctor’s credentials online. You can visit their website biography page or Healthgrades to learn more.
Determine where they completed their education and training. Consider how long ago they graduated as well.
A doctor who graduated a few decades ago likely has years of hands-on experience. It’s important to make sure they continued their education too. Otherwise, there’s a chance they’re working based on outdated information.
Look for a doctor who is up-to-date with new pain management treatments and technologies.
Someone who continues learning will strive to offer their patients the best possible treatments. Otherwise, they might struggle to help treat your lower back pain.
Check each account to see if they have additional training or other certifications too. While you’re online, make sure they don’t have malpractice claims filed against them. Reviewing each doctor’s credentials can give you peace of mind in your choice.
3. Look for Years of Experience
As you research each doctor on your list, consider their experience.
First, determine how long they’ve owned their own practice. A long-established business has likely worked out all the kinks. A new business might still need to get its footing.
Established businesses have earned the respect of patients in the area as well.
Find a pain doctor with years of experience helping patients. Then make sure their experience applies to your needs.
Determine if the doctor has experience managing back pain like yours. Find someone with experience handling specific pain conditions. Maybe they specialize in offering a specific procedure.
For example, you might need a doctor with experience treating lumbar radicular pain. Make sure they specialize in post-surgery pain.
As you interview each doctor, ask how many patients with similar conditions they’ve treated over the years. How did they help those patients? Were their treatment plans successful?
If they specialize in a specific procedure, ask about their success rate. Determine if there are complications you’ll need to consider too.
Finding someone who specializes in the pain management solutions you need can help narrow down your options.
4. Schedule a Consultation
Take the time to schedule a consultation appointment with at least three different doctors on your list. Meeting them in person can help you determine if they’re the right fit.
Discuss your current condition and the surgery you completed. What pain management solutions would they recommend?
Choose a doctor who takes the time to develop a customized plan based on your distinct needs. You don’t want someone who will treat you like a number. Instead, they should develop a plan based on your goals and preferences.
For example, you might want to avoid addictive pain management medications. Maybe you’re concerned about scheduling another surgery.
Discuss your needs, goals, and preferences. The doctor will take these into account when developing your treatment plan. With their help, you can manage and treat your lower back pain without further complications.
5. Request References
About 20% of US adults have chronic pain. Another 8% have high-impact chronic pain.
Chronic pain is linked to restrictions in mobility and daily activities. It’s also associated with reduced quality of life, anxiety, depression, and opioid dependence.
You’re not alone. Thankfully, you can learn from patients who were once in your shoes.
Before making your final decision, ask each pain management doctor for references and reviews. You can also find reviews online. Make sure to check Google My Business, Healthgrades, and the Better Business Bureau.
Pay attention to their comments about each doctor on your list. Try to find reviews from patients who experienced post-surgery pain. You can learn more from their experiences.
For example, did they have any issues with the doctor? Consider their comments about the wait times, office environment, and staff as well.
6. Check Your Insurance
Finally, it’s important to take the time to consult your insurance provider. Determine if your plan will cover your treatments. Otherwise, ask the pain doctor if they offer payment plans.
Don’t make your choice based on price above the rest of these factors. Instead, review your notes and choose a doctor that can accomplish your goals.
Ease Your Pain by Choosing a Pain Management Doctor
Don’t rush to choose the first pain management doctor you find. Instead, consider these six factors when reviewing your options. With these tips, you can find a doctor that offers the pain management solutions you need and improve your overall quality of life.
Ready to schedule your consultation appointment? Contact us today to get started. We’re here to help.