Do Pain Management Doctors Have Specialties?

Pain can arise from various medical conditions or injuries. For those who suffer from chronic pain, seeking the help of a pain management dr may be necessary. One common question that arises is whether pain management doctors have specialties. Here is some more information on pain management doctors and their specialties:

What Is a Pain Management Dr?

A pain management dr is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. They use medication, physical therapy, and invasive procedures. Pain management doctors may work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

Their main goal is to help patients manage chronic pain so they can maintain a good quality of life. They manage arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, cancer, nerve damage, etc. These doctors also work with patients with acute pain from injury, surgery, or other procedures. Pain management doctors may work with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and psychologists.

Why Use Pain Management Doctors?

Pain management doctors conduct a thorough examination, review medical history, and order imaging and tests. These doctors develop a personalized pain management plan for each patient. They base it on their specific needs, medical history, and the cause of pain.

Pain management doctors can also identify the signs of addiction and dependence on opioids. They watch their patients and adjust their treatment plans to cut the risk of addiction.

Chronic pain can impact a patient’s quality of life. Pain management doctors can reduce pain symptoms and increase mobility. Pain management doctors often collaborate with physical therapists, neurologists, and psychologists. These collaborations provide comprehensive care for patients with chronic pain.

What Are the Specialties Within Pain Management?

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

This is a medical specialty focused on diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating physical disabilities. This specialty involves using various techniques for pain management. Pain can be acute or chronic affecting the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. PM&R specialists work to address the root causes of pain and provide effective pain relief.

There are many different techniques that PM&R specialists may use to manage pain. These techniques include the following:

  • Medication management
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Nerve blocks

Physical therapy is a common pain management technique used by PM&R specialists. The therapy uses exercises to help individuals regain strength and mobility. This can help to reduce pain and improve functional ability.

Another common pain management technique is medication management. Medications can reduce inflammation, block pain signals, and promote relaxation. PM&R specialists may also use biofeedback and relaxation training.


Neurology deals with diagnosing and treating disorders of the nervous system. Disorders can include neuropathy, migraine headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, and multiple sclerosis. Neurologists use medical history, physical examination, and MRI or CT scans for diagnosis.

After diagnosis, neurologists can use medication, nerve blocks, physical therapy, or surgery. Medications include anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioids. Surgery is for cases where other treatments have failed to provide relief. Neurosurgeons can perform spinal stenosis or microvascular decompression surgery for trigeminal neuralgia.


Psychiatrists can help patients manage chronic pain’s emotional and psychological effects. These may include psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medication management. Medication management is also an aspect of psychiatry in pain management. Psychiatrists can prescribe opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


Oncology, the study and treatment of cancer, is a specialty in pain management. The goal of pain management in oncology is to relieve pain in cancer patients. Cancer pain can arise from a tumor, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

Oncologists work with palliative care specialists to develop a comprehensive pain management plan. They may use opioids and non-opioid analgesics, or physical therapy and acupuncture.


Rheumatology diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal diseases and systemic autoimmune conditions. These conditions affect joints, muscles, and bones. They manage osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, fibromyalgia, and many other diseases.

One of their primary goals is to identify and treat the underlying cause of the pain. The rheumatologist can develop an individualized treatment plan. The rheumatologist may prescribe the following:

  • Biological agents
  • Corticosteroids
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Use a Qualified Pain Management Doctor

With their specialized training and expertise, pain management doctors are a valuable resource. If you are dealing with chronic pain, seek a pain management doctor to provide you with the care and support you need.