What Types of Patients Do Pain Doctors Treat?

MN Pain Doctor patientsFinding the right care for each individual patient who is dealing with chronic pain can be difficult. If a patient has ongoing difficulties with pain symptoms, additional medical expertise is often helpful with symptom management. The comprehensive Pain Care program at CDI is designed to help manage these complex and difficult problems.

Pain Management at CDI

The Pain Care program at CDI will see any patient who has ongoing problems with pain. The program is run by a Board Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialists with subspecialty training in Pain. We are available to help evaluate and diagnose medical problems that are causing ongoing pain symptoms in any region of the body. Common problems that we usually see include patients with:

  • neck pain
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • neuropathy
  • low back pain
  • mid back pain
  • multilevel pain problems.

The goal is to develop an individualized comprehensive treatment plan to better control symptoms on a conservative basis. Early management of pain problems often leads to solutions that completely solve the issues.

Treating Pain Problems

A typical low back pain patient may have muscles strains, disc issues, nerve irritation, lumbar facet joint pain, or even pelvic problems. A comprehensive evaluation and examination often leads to an appropriate diagnosis and a number of treatment options. A Physiatrist can work with a patient to complete further testing, and if necessary, assist with physical therapy, medication, and interventions to overcome the medical problems causing low back pain. Muscle strains for instance may only need physical therapy and appropriate short-term medications. Lumbar facet joint problems cause axial low back pain and may benefit from a combination of injections, radio-frequency neurolysis/lesioning, and physical therapy. Depending on the diagnosis, a comprehensive treatment plan with the available options for management can be discussed and implemented with the patient.

Neck pain issues often cause headaches and can be treated with a number of conservative interventions. The Pain Care team can help diagnose and develop a comprehensive management strategy. One common problem causing headaches is irritation of the cervical facets, and this often occurs after trauma, especially motor vehicle accidents. This pain is often known as a whiplash injury. It often resolves with conservative physical therapy and short-term medication, but about 10% of cases require more intense intervention. These patients are often helped with injections and sometimes radio-frequency lesioning of nerves in the neck. Successful management often cures the problems for a prolonged time.

Pain is a complex problems, and every patient is unique with their own set of important issues. If all the answers were obvious, there would be no need for our services. Unfortunately, pain is the most common problem bringing a patient to the doctor’s office. When it does not resolve in short period of time, having the skills of a specialist is often extremely beneficial. There is not one solution, one medication, one shot, or one specific intervention that is right for every patient.  Pain Care is designed to integrate and coordinate our skills into the community to treat these challenging patients with their current care team.

Pain management is not a new field.  At CDI we have recognized the need to provide a more comprehensive service to help with the management of these complex and difficult patients. With a comprehensive approach to the evaluation and management of these patients by a Physiatrist, we hope to bring a successful approach to resolving these difficult problems within the community. At CDI we hope to partner with a community of physicians to better serve these patients and their providers.

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Thomas Cohn, MD

Interventional pain doctor helping Minnesotans manage back, neck, foot, and other pain. Board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with additional board-certification in pain management from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians (ABIPP) and the American Board of Pain Medicine (ABPM).

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