Pain medicine specialist qualifications

The most important consideration in looking for a pain management specialist is to find someone who has the training and experience to help you with your particular pain problem and with whom you feel a comfortable rapport.  Since many types of chronic pain may require a complex treatment plan as well as specialized interventional techniques, pain specialists today must have more training than in the past, and you should learn about how your pain physician was trained and whether he or she has board certification in pain management.

The widely accepted standard for pain management education today is a fellowship (additional training beyond residency which occurs after graduating from medical school) in pain management.  Most fellowship programs are associated with anesthesiology residency training programs.  There are also fellowship programs associated with neurology and physical medicine and rehabilitation residency programs.  The fellowship consists of at least one year of training in all aspects of pain management after completion residency training.  When a physician has become board certified in their primary specialty and has completed an accredited fellowship, they become eligible for subspecialty board certification in pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology, The American Board of Psychiatry and The American Board of Neurology, or the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  These three are the only board certifications in pain management recognized by the American College of Graduate Medical Education.

In addition to learning about your pain physicians training and board certification, you also should ask whether they have experience with your specific pain condition and what types of treatments they offer.  Do they only perform procedures or do they use a multidisciplinary approach to pain management?  Who do they refer to for other treatment options such as surgery, psychological support or alternative therapies?  How can they be reached if questions or problems arise?  What is their overall philosophy of pain management?


Our Mission

The mission of Blue Ridge Pain Management is to relieve human suffering. We use a comprehensive, holistic approach that combines patient educations and empowerment with the use of medications and cutting edge interventional therapies. We treat low back pain, work related injuries, myofascial pain, sciatica, post traumatic pain, neck pain, headaches, neuropathies, arthritic pain and cancer related pain. We prescribe medications, perform medication infusion therapies such as lidocaine infusions and perform both ultrasound guided and fluoroscopically guided injections and procedures: cervical and lumbar epidural injections, selective nerve root blocks, transforaminal epidural steroid injections, lumbar and cervical facet injections, lumbar and cervical facet rhizotomies, occipital nerve blocks, sympathetic nerve blocks, trigger point injections, intrathecal pump implantations, kyphoplasty and spinal cord stimulation. All of our physicians are board certified in Anesthesiology and subspecialty trained in pain management.

What is a Pain Management Specialist?

A pain management specialist is a physician with special training in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all
different types of pain. Pain is actually a wide spectrum of disorders including acute pain, chronic pain and
cancer pain and sometimes a combination of these. Pain can also arise for many different reasons such as
surgery, injury, nerve damage, and metabolic problems such as diabetes. Occasionally, pain can even be the
problem all by itself, without any obvious cause at all.

As the field of medicine learns more about the complexities of pain, it has become more important to have
physicians with specialized knowledge and skills to treat these conditions. An in-depth knowledge of the
physiology of pain, the ability to evaluate patients with complicated pain problems, understanding of
specialized tests for diagnosing painful conditions, appropriate prescribing of medications to varying pain
problems, and skills to perform procedures (such as nerve blocks, spinal injections and other interventional
techniques) are all part of what a pain management specialist uses to treat pain. In addition, the broad variety
of treatments available to treat pain is growing rapidly and with increasing complexity. With an increasing
number of new and complex drugs, techniques, and technologies becoming available every year for the
treatment of pain, the pain management physician is uniquely trained to use this new knowledge safely and
effectively to help his or her patients. Finally, the pain management specialist plays an important role in
coordinating additional care such as physical therapy, psychological therapy, and rehabilitation programs in
order to offer patients a comprehensive treatment plan with a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of
their pain.