A pain medicine doctor specializes in diagnosing, treating and managing pain and a range of painful disorders. A pain medicine doctor cares for the health needs of people with acute pain, chronic pain, and cancer pain. Because pain is complex and covers a wide spectrum of conditions, pain medicine doctors specialize in both the physical and mental aspects of pain management.

A pain medicine doctor typically:

Evaluates your medical history and any test results you have

Performs a physical exam

Evaluates your answers to pain questionnaires

Orders and interprets laboratory tests, imaging exams, neurologic exams, and muscle and nerve studies

Diagnoses and treats herniated discs, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, migraine headaches, diabetic neuropathy, sports injuries, and burn pain

Prescribes medications

Orders physical therapy, electrical stimulation therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and counseling

Performs therapeutic injections and nerve blocks

Refers you to an appropriate surgeon if necessary

A pain medicine doctor may also be known as a pain medicine specialist, pain management doctor, or pain medicine physician.


Who should see a pain medicine doctor?

Most people see a pain medicine doctor when their primary care doctor refers them to one. Other doctors who may refer you to a pain medicine doctor include back surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists, rheumatologists, and cancer doctors (oncologists).

Anyone with pain, especially chronic pain conditions or cancer pain, should consider consulting an experienced pain medicine doctor for a proper diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment options. However, a pain medicine doctor is not a surgeon. If you need surgery, a pain medicine doctor can refer you to an appropriate surgeon.
When should you see a pain medicine doctor?

Consider seeking care from a pain medicine doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms or conditions:

Back pain, lower back pain, neck pain, or back pain that radiates to the hips, legs and feet

Burning pain, hypersensitivity to temperature, and shiny skin over the painful area

Fatigue, stiffness, joint tenderness, and widespread muscle pain

Hand or wrist pain that gets worse with grasping

Hot or burning pain in your arms, hands, fingers, feet or toes

Jaw pain when talking, chewing, or biting into food that can radiate to your face and neck

Leg pain and weakness when you are standing that gets better when you sit down

Sharp stabbing head pain, squeezing head pain, or throbbing head pain with nausea and visual disturbances

Shooting or stabbing pain in your face, head or neck

You should also seek care from a pain medicine physician under the following situations:

You have cancer pain.

You have recovered from any illness or injury, but your pain persists.

Dr. Vikas Tyagi is working as Pain consultant at Estaa Medical Centre. He completed his post graduation from Sion hospital, Mumbai and then worked at Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, New Delhi. His areas of interests include Fibromyalgia, arthritic pain management, knee pain and chronic back pain.


A keen observer and patient listener, Dr Vikas focuses strongly on finding the root cause of pain before prescribing medications. He incorporates multidimensional approach in his management with a special focus on lifestyle changes. Dr Vikas specializes in Spine and knee pain, Regenerative medicine including PRP, migraine, shoulder pain and sports injuries.