What is pain management, exactly?

Posted June, 2008

The Goals of Pain Management

Pain Management (PM) as a specialty developed over time as a response to medical problems that required knowledge and skills many general medical practitioners simply didn't have. So over time, a formal specialty developed. (See the adjacent sidebar for more about this.)

The PM specialist is dedicated to the goal of improving the quality of life by alleviating pain. The pain experienced by RPMG patients may vary on the "intensity scale." No matter if it is acute or chronic, "unresolved pain" is best treated by a specialist like Dr. Robb. Virtually no other physician has the depth of knowledge related to the cause, perception, and the emotional effects of chronic pain. No general practice physician will be aware of (or able to deploy) the many advanced pain-relieving techniques now available. Only the PM specialist has this knowledge.

Our goal (and that of all PM doctors) is to locate the causes of—and then work hard to terminate—chronic pain. We improve almost virtually every patient's life, sometimes in very profound ways. Given the powerful tools we've got on hand (drugs, nerve blocks, radio frequency denervation and others) PM specialists like Dr. Robb have accumulated an extremely successful track record in eliminating or reducing debilitating pain. Why tolerate chronic pain?

Our motto is simple: live pain free.

Read about what patients can do to help themselves.

Who becomes a Pain Management doctor, anyway?

One group of PM specialists (like Dr. Robb) was originally trained in anesthesiology. Because anesthesia requires solid knowledge of neurology, diagnostics, and other areas related to perception and sensation, some of these doctors changed the focus of their careers to the alleviation of pain. Many (PM) physicians still practice their original specialty. With the health care demands of an aging society plagued by many pain-generating ailments, most PM doctors now concentrate their efforts toward providing pain relief.

The second group of PM specialists typically studied rehabilitation medicine. This progression makes sense, too, if you think about for a moment.

PM regularly involves caring for patients who've been injured (sometimes severely) and who are now trying to re-establish normal lives. Their chronic pain may be as a result of an injury or due to the subsequent degeneration of crucial joints or soft tissues (ligaments and tendons).