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Do I Need an Interventional Pain Specialist?

Updated: Jun 9

Physician holding chalkboard with "Interventional pain management" written on it.

If you have unresolved pain that is impacting your daily life and your ability to do the activities you love, you may be a candidate for an interventional pain treatment.

Interventional pain specialists are medical doctors who use minimally invasive techniques like injections, implantable devices, and intravenous therapies to directly target the cause of your pain. These interventions can be a next step in managing and treating your pain when non-interventional techniques like medications and physical therapy are not effective.

An interventional pain specialist is a pain management physician who specializes in variety of different injections including epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, medial branch blocks, radiofrequency ablation, joint injections; and a variety of intravenous treatments to help diagnose and manage your pain.

Unspecified patient with touhy epidural needle, extension tubing and 5 ml syringe attached.

When you have experienced back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain or knee pain for more than three months (even if it is on and off), you should consider seeing an interventional pain specialist. It is often thought that once medications and physical therapy fail that your only option is surgery. This is a common myth. In fact, there are times when the services of an interventional pain specialist are just what you need. This can save you the expense, risk, and inconvenience of more invasive surgical options while still resolving your pain.

During the initial visit, an interventional pain doctor will evaluate your condition by taking a detailed history and reviewing any information sent from your previous doctors. The doctor will ask you about your experience with the pain, your medical history, and anything else you may know about its cause. Finally, your physician will perform a physical exam to further evaluate your condition and create a customized treatment plan.

The main benefit of seeing an interventional pain specialist is that they offer the choice of minimally invasive treatment options as an alternative to surgery. Often patients are told to “live with the pain or have surgery.” This advice can be scary and it is a very black and white approach to pain, when in fact there is a wide array of choices in how to address the issue. This is not to say surgery is never needed but an interventional pain specialist will let you know if these less invasive options are an option for you besides surgery.

It is important to note that interventional pain specialists can be board-certified but not all go through the process to achieve this additional certification. I am board-certified in two specialties: Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. You can check for your doctor’s board certification at (See my board-certified post for more information about the process.)

Request an appointment on my contact page and see how I, as a board-certified interventional pain specialist, can get you on your way to getting rid of your pain and living your life.


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