Why We’re Not a “Pain Clinic”

The most common complaint with which any patient presents to any doctor is pain.

If a cardiologist treats chest pain, a gastroenterologist treats abdominal pain, or a gynecologist treats pelvic pain, does this mean that they are all “pain specialists”?

Of course not, since those doctors have taken a patient-centered approach to care, carefully assessing all of the potential causes of the pain, using the proper tests and treatments, and providing an effective treatment.

So why do so many other specialists, even those in physical medicine and rehabilitation, also known as physiatry (fizz-eye-ah-tree), identify themselves “pain specialists” instead of calling themselves physiatrists (fizz-ee-ah-trists) , like Dr. Kahn does? And do they offer the same type of treatment or treat all of the different body parts and conditions that Dr. Kahn does?

In many instances these “pain clinics” have limited the conditions that they are willing to treat, and are focused on treating neck and back pain only, and will only provide interventional procedures (i.e. nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulators) and medication prescriptions.

The treatment provided by many of these “pain specialists” is not based upon the goal of trying to determine the cause of the pain, and all of it’s perpetuating factors, but is limited to treating the symptoms only.

In this era of opioid over-prescription, we have patients who contact our practice because they don’t want the “three N’s”: narcotics, nerve blocks, and no relief.

Dr. Kahn’s approach to pain management is different. His goal is to first determine why the pain is present, what factors may be contributing to it, including work and lifestyle issues, whether the previous diagnostic studies identified the cause, and how the treatment to date has affected it.

There is a whole person approach to diagnosis and treatment, taking into account structural, metabolic, and behavioral factors, and a team approach including physical therapists, psychologists, and other medical providers as needed is utilized.

When medically indicated, our usage of office based image guided injections, combined with various types of prescribed medications, and other therapies, is based specifically on the goal of identifying and treating the cause of the pain, and with a target goal of increased functional capacity.

You will always see Dr. Kahn himself at each and every visit, whether for an initial consultation, follow up evaluation, or for any diagnostic study or procedure which we offer.

Our practice is not limited solely to neck and back pain, and we literally treat multiple types of painful conditions “from head to toe” and in between!

Those patients who are seeking a physician solely for the prescription of controlled substances every thirty days would be advised to seek treatment at a different medical practice.