Pain Management Specialist|Back Pain Specialist

Pain Specialists

There is no one discipline within healthcare that specializes in chronic pain management. No one, for instance, can get an M.D. or a Ph.D. in pain management. Instead, many different types of healthcare providers can specialize in delivering chronic pain management services.


Healthcare providers come to specialize in pain management by seeking out additional training and experiences after attaining their degrees. Typically, what leads them to seek out such additional training is the particular interests and experiences of the given provider.


Among psychologists, clinical psychologists or health psychologists tend to typically specialize in chronic pain management. Historically, psychologists have been leaders in developing and running chronic pain rehabilitation programs.  


Among physicians, there are a number of types of physicians who tend to specialize in chronic pain management. Spine surgeons are typically either neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons who specialize in spinal surgeries. Interventional pain physicians tend to be either anesthesiologists or physiatrists who have sought out additional training in providing interventional procedures, such as epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, and the like. However, physiatrists, depending on the particular interests of the provider, can refrain from obtaining additional training in interventional procedures and instead become specialists in chronic pain rehabilitation. Neurologists, or physicians who are specialists in nerve-related conditions, can also come to concentrate their focus on chronic pain management. Psychiatrists can also sometimes specialize in treating chronic pain disorders.  


Physical therapist are an altogether different type of healthcare provider who can come to specialize in chronic pain management. Physical therapists focus on movement and exercise as a way to reduce pain and increase functional abilities.



Murray J. McAllister, PsyD, is the executive director of the Institute for Chronic Pain. The Institute for Chronic Pain is an educational and public policy think tank. Its purpose is to bring together thought leaders from around the world in the field of chronic pain rehabilitation and provide academic-quality information that is also approachable to all the stakeholders in the field: patients, their families, generalist healthcare providers, third party payers, and public policy analysts. Its aim is to change the culture of how chronic pain is managed through education and consultation efforts that advocate for the use of empirically supported conceptualizations and treatments of chronic pain. He also blogs at the Institute for Chronic Pain Blog.


Last Updated on Monday, 26 October 2015 00:12

Published on Friday, 27 April 2012 14:02

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