Finding a specialist to treat a chronic condition is harder than seeing a general practitioner. However, most general practitioners will refer you to a specialist when treating your condition is outside the scope of their experience. Unless your family doctor knows someone that he/she can refer you to, you may have to search all on your own. Here are three places you can look first to find a doctor to treat chronic pain.
Your Healthcare Search Directory via Your Insurance Company
Most specialists require a referral from your family doctor before you can see them. Your family doctor may be willing to provide you with the referral, but needs to know to who you should be referred. If you call your health insurance provider (which you will have to do to get preauthorization anyway) you can ask about doctors in your area that treat chronic pain. Be sure the phone representative narrows it down to an area of about twenty miles in any one direction, or you may be seeing a specialist that is too far away for you to see regularly. Your healthcare search directory will assist you and the phone rep in finding the right doctor.
Neurology and Rheumatology Clinics
Both neurologists and rheumatologists manage and treat pain. Neurologists address pain caused by issues within the nervous system and brain, while the rheumatologist manages and treats pain within the musculoskeletal system. Autoimmune disorders affecting bone, brain and nerve tissue cross over both medical disciplines. If you are diagnosed with any disease or disorder that is related to these bodily systems, then you would probably see a neurologist or a rheumatologist anyway. Make contact with their clinics to see if they take your insurance and if they are accepting any new patients at this time.
Orthopedists also deal with different causes of pain. In their practices, they typically address injuries and the pain that results. However, they might be a good source to consult on pain management, especially if the pain limits your mobility and/or causes muscle spasms and contractions.
If you do not want to see a medical specialist but would prefer to see an alternative medicine specialist like HealthCare800, chiropractors, rolfers, massage therapists, and acupuncturists round out the list. Many of these alternatives to medicine have a basis in pain management, but do it in very different ways. Most people would prefer to see a medical specialist first to see if their condition can be improved with medication and physical therapy.
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