How to Find the Best Elbow Pain Doctor? Pain Management Physician Answers
Elbow pain is generally characterized as a sharp burning sensation in the elbows due to inflamed tendons, injury, or dislocation. Elbow pain may be chronic if it’s caused by underlying issues like osteoarthritis or tendinitis. That’s why it’s important to find the best elbow pain doctor who can treat your elbow injuries using minimally invasive procedures.
There are a lot of different types of pain doctors out there — some recommend surgeries, some provide opioids to relieve pain, and some use minimally-invasive procedures. You should generally avoid pain doctors who recommend surgeries because they’re complicated and risky and you should definitely avoid opioids because that doesn’t treat the underlying issue and may lead to an addiction.
In this article, we discuss all the factors to consider when looking for the best elbow pain doctor in your location.
Interventional Pain Specialists
Pain-related issues can be treated by three categories of pain doctors — palliative care specialists, interventional pain and spine specialists, and chronic pain specialists.
Palliative care specialists focus on chronic pain caused by cancer and other underlying conditions. They primarily focus on the emotional aspects of pain relief and provide opioids to relieve pain.
Chronic pain specialists focus entirely on opioid management. Considering the United States is currently in the throes of an opioid crisis due to the overprescription of opioids, you should avoid this altogether. Opioids can’t treat the underlying root cause of chronic pain and they lead to addictions.
Interventional pain specialists are those who are specifically trained to identify the root cause of chronic pain and treat it using minimally-invasive procedures that include injections or ablations. They treat the root cause of pain instead of simply masking it temporarily.
As such, the best elbow pain doctors will be interventional pain specialists.
You should look for elbow pain doctors who have a board certification in pain management and treatment. This is a strong guarantor of quality treatment because doctors have to go through complicated challenges and undergo residency training and fellowship specializations to get board certified. As such, board certification guarantees that the chosen pain doctor is highly skilled and qualified.
Ivy League Educational Background
In addition to board certification, you can also determine the quality of a doctor based on their educational background. Look for pain doctors who have graduated from Ivy League Medical Schools or those of similar reputations.
Diagnosis of the Root Cause of Elbow Pain
As mentioned previously, elbow pain may be caused by a wide range of underlying conditions. Interventional pain specialists identify the root cause of elbow pain before proceeding with treatment.
During the diagnosis, the pain doctor will carry a physical examination followed by imaging tests like X-Ray scans, CT scans, MRI scans, and ultrasounds. This will help them identify exactly why you’re suffering from elbow pain.
The following is a brief overview of the various causes of elbow pain.
These are single isolated incidents related to physical impact sustained by your elbows, leading to dislocated elbows, fractures, strains, or sprains. You may also develop elbow injuries when small tears develop on your muscles due to overexertion at the gym.
Elbow osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which your cartilage gradually wears off until your bones start rubbing against each other, which leads to joint pain.
Elbow Tendonitis — Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow
Elbow Tendinitis is a condition in which you stress the tendon due to overuse. There are two primary types of elbow tendonitis — tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Tennis elbow occurs outside the elbow and is most common amongst tennis players. Golfer’s elbow happens inside the elbows and is common amongst golf players.
This is a condition in which excessive fluid collects in the bursa sacs behind the elbow, leading to swelling and tenderness.
Elbow Pain Treatments
Once the elbow pain doctor diagnoses the root cause of elbow pain, they’ll proceed to treat it using one or several of the following methods.
All chronic pain treatments start with home treatments that include RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). The pain doctor will ask you to rest the elbow, ice it to reduce swelling, wrap it in ACE bandages, and elevate it. They may also recommend physical therapy.
Corticosteroids are generally the first minimally invasive treatment for elbow pain recommended by the pain doctor. During the procedure, the pain doctor will inject an anti-inflammatory medication that will reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by a wide range of diseases.
Viscosupplementation, also known as Hyaluronic Acid Injection, is a type of treatment in which hyaluronic acid is injected into the elbow joint capsule. This is usually done because people suffering from osteoarthritis usually have insufficiency hyaluronic acid in their joints, which is a naturally-occurring fluid that absorbs shock and facilitates smooth joint movements.
Call your Doctor for Elbow Pain Treatment Today
Pain Treatment Specialists, in conjunction with VIP Medical Group, is home to some of the best elbow pain doctors who specialize in the latest minimally invasive treatments for all types of chronic pain. We accurately diagnose the root cause of pain and treat it accordingly. For more information, please call your doctor near your location today.