According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, pain impacts more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined and is a leading factor behind long-term disability. When you’re in pain and you visit a pain management specialist, what’s the best way to describe pain? How can you make sure what you’re feeling is understood by the doctor?

“One of the questions I get asked frequently by my patients is, “What’s the best way to describe my pain to you?,’” says Daniel M. Frohwein, M.D., a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management physician at Orlando Orthopaedic Center. “And the answer is: as completely as possible.”

Finding solutions to treat pain can be difficult. Pain medicine specialists can play an important role in helping individuals with pain to cope with and ultimately overcome their discomfort.

What is a Multidisciplinary Approach to Pain Management?

frohwein patient pain management

Dr. Frohwein with a patient.

When chronic pain interferes with one’s ability to engage in the activities they love, an interdisciplinary plan of treatment can provide them with the best odds to manage their pain. The pain management doctors at Orlando Orthopaedic Center can recommend a variety of approaches including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription medication
  • Interventional pain management

The first and most important step in the healing process is for patients to accurately describe their pain so that their pain management doctor can make a proper diagnosis and develop the best treatment plan for them.

“The more information that you provide regarding the level of the pain, the type of pain or unpleasant symptoms you’re experiencing, the location of the pain, as well as the factors that make it better or worse, will help your doctor along with the other information gleaned from the visit, to help diagnose and treat your pain effectively,” says Dr. Frohwein.

How Do You Manage Pain?

The first consultation with a pain management doctor will include an extensive evaluation of:

  • The history of the painful condition
  • A physical examination
  • Any diagnostic and imaging tests such as MRIs, X-rays, or laboratory studies

A treatment plan will then be developed and customized for each patient’s own unique circumstances and the type of condition involved. Pain management doctors typically make use of a variety of outpatient, minimally invasive techniques to treat varying degrees of pain.

When pain interferes with one’s enjoyment of life and conservative treatments have proven unsuccessful, consulting with a pain management doctor can determine if one is a suitable candidate for pain management treatments.