Seeking treatment at dedicated pain clinics, like the one at KindlyMD based out of Utah, is a pivotal step on the journey to regaining comfort and quality of life when pain persists. But not every clinic lives up to the title “pain specialist”. Finding a truly comprehensive pain clinic with expert staff requires a discerning eye.
Verify Multidisciplinary Care
The best pain clinics use an interdisciplinary team approach. You want physical medicine doctors, anesthesiologists, physical therapists, psychologists, alternative medicine providers and other specialists all collaborating under one roof. This ensures you get input from pain experts across specialties. Beware of clinics staffed by just a single practitioner. That suggests limited expertise. Multidisciplinary care is your first indication of an exceptional pain clinic.
Look for Both MDs and DOs
When browsing potential pain clinics, look for both medical doctors (MD) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO) on staff. This shows the clinic embraces providers from both philosophies. DOs bring the added dimension of hands-on osteopathic manipulative medicine to improve structure and function. An integrative approach that includes both MDs and DOs gives you the widest range of options for resolving pain.
Ask About Certifications
You want pain doctors and providers certified in their fields. For physicians, look for:
- Board certification in physical medicine & rehabilitation and pain medicine.
- Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP) for invasive procedures.
For chiropractors and physical therapists, seek those with Certified Pain Practitioner (CPP) credentials. Psychologists should have significant experience in cognitive-behavioral therapy for pain management. Confirm professionals have specialized expertise in pain care.
Seek Cutting-Edge Technology
From digital X-rays to automated pain reporting systems, today’s best clinics use technology to enhance patient care. For example:
- Diagnostic tools like high-field MRI, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound allow minimally invasive procedures.
- Spinal cord stimulators, peripheral nerve stimulators and other electronic implants target pain precisely.
- Photobiomodulation uses laser light therapy to accelerate healing.
- Virtual reality distraction helps patients through painful procedures.
Advanced technology in the hands of specialists achieves better outcomes. It enables more conservative pain management as well.
Ask for an Integrative Approach
Integrative pain clinics blend traditional practices with complementary medicine. You should have access to options like:
- Therapeutic massage.
- Physical therapy modalities like heat, ice, ultrasound and e-stim.
- On-site dispensary for medical marijuana where legal.
- Yoga/tai chi classes.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Even if you don’t intend to use complementary therapies, their availability indicates a progressive clinic promoting healing of mind and body.
Check Ratings on Public Review Sites
Public ratings found on Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades offer unfiltered feedback from past patients. Look for consistent themes like:
- Caring, compassionate staff.
- Patient-centered treatment plans.
- Clear explanations and communication.
- Timely access to appointments.
- Effective pain relief.
While no clinic is perfect, you want to see mostly positive reviews. Take negative feedback with a grain of salt.
For convenience, pay attention to:
- Location – Is the clinic close enough to home or work?
- Parking availability.
- Clinic hours – Do they offer early/late appointments?
- Same-day/walk-in availability – For flare-ups.
- Insurance – Confirm they accept your specific plan.
It’s easier to commit to ongoing care when the clinic is easy to get to. Don’t underestimate logistical factors.
Trust Your Instincts
When touring clinics, observe staff interactions. Is the environment calm and reassuring? Or harried and stressful? Do staff treat you with compassion? You want a clinic where you feel heard and cared for. While hard to define, that “gut feel” matters. Trust it.
Finding the right pain clinic takes diligence. But it’s among the most important health decisions you’ll make. Use this guide to identify clinics worthy of your trust. Don’t settle for less when it comes to your care.