Your physical condition and wellness priorities determine whether you should schedule an appointment with an orthopedist or a pain doctor. The decision is dependent upon your ultimate goal.

If you want to find out the source of pain you’re experiencing and how the pain should be addressed, then making an appointment with a pain doctor is appropriate.

If it’s more important for you to resolve musculoskeletal concerns outside of pain, then seeing an orthopedist is preferable.

What Does an Orthopedist Do?

An orthopedist focuses on musculoskeletal issues and diagnoses disorders, injuries, or diseases related to muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments.  Once your condition is diagnosed, your orthopedist devises a treatment plan including exercise, physical therapy, massage, injections, medication, and surgery.

An orthopedist’s goal is to restore your musculoskeletal system’s function, strength, and mobility, and then put you on a maintenance plan. Orthopedists have a crucial role working with other physicians and health care workers to optimize your well-being.

What Does a Pain Doctor Do?

Pain management doctors are certified, degreed physicians who are able to treat both chronic and acute pain. A pain specialist usually treats pain as a symptom of an underlying disease, including arthritis, cancer, migraine headache, fibromyalgia, and more. But pain doctors also treat primary pain disorders and acute pain from illness or injury, as well as offer palliative care.

If suffering from pain due to disease, an injury, or post-surgery, you can expect your pain doctor to address it and consult with other specialists to coordinate your care.

Your pain doctor devises an individual treatment plan that utilizes non-invasive treatments as much as possible.  

What To Expect At Your First Pain Management Visit

Your pain doctor uses a variety of techniques to diagnose and then treat your pain based on its root cause. The doctor evaluates your condition by taking a family medical history, as well as a personal history.

Following the initial assessment, your doctor might order diagnostic testing. Those tests could include imaging, blood work, stress tests, and more. A physical examination is also conducted.

Once the pain source is identified, the doctor creates a plan to manage or reduce the pain.  

Pain Treatment Options

In most cases, pain treatment is non-invasive. However, there are situations where minimally invasive treatments like the following are warranted and necessary:

  • Steroid Injections
  • Implanted devices, such as pumps and stimulators
  • Medication
  • Acupuncture
  • Surgery

Other less invasive methods include:

  • Cold therapy
  • Heat therapy, such as radio-frequency thermocoagulation (RFTC)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Biofeedback

Pain Relief in Austin

At Pain Specialists of Austin, we provide a multidisciplinary approach to managing your pain. We are sensitive to the needs of anyone suffering from chronic pain – whether it’s caused by illness, disease, or injury – and we understand how to treat it.

To learn about our advanced pain relief therapies, call us at (855) 876-7246, or request a consultation through our online form. We look forward to helping you find relief from your acute or chronic pain.