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Help for Choosing a Pain Management Physician or Clinic & More

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[* Unfortunately the American Pain Foundation ceased to exist on May 3, 2012, though the considerable body of information housed on their website may be transferred to other organizations.]

If your current treatment is not working, or if your pain is getting worse, it’s probably time to see a pain specialist. Pain management doctors have completed additional training in pain medicine, giving them a specialized understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that cause all types of pain. Pain specialists use a variety of treatment options to manage pain, and strive to improve patients’ quality of life.

Below is a list of organizations that may be useful to contact as you look for pain doctors in your area:

n American Academy of Pain Management
13947 Mono Way #A
Sonora, CA 95370
Tel: 209-533-9744
Email: aapm@aapainmanage.org
Website: www.aapainmanage.org
(Click on “Patients”)

n American Academy of Pain Medicine
4700 W. Lake Avenue
Glenview, IL 60025
Tel: 847-375-4731
Email: aapm@amctec.com
Website: www.painmed.org
(Click on “Membership Directory”)

n American Academy of Physical Med & Rehab
330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2500
Chicago, IL 60611-7617
Tel: 312-464-9700
Email: info@aapmr.org
Website: www.aapmr.org
(Click on “Find a PM&R Physician”)

n American Board of Pain Medicine
4700 W. Lake Avenue
Glenview, IL 60025
Tel: 847-375-4726
Email: info@abpm.org
Website: www.abpm.org
(Click on “Diplomates”)

n American Medical Association
515 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Tel: 312-464-5000
Email: None
Website: www.ama-assn.org
(click on “Doctor Finder”)

n American Chronic Pain Association
P.O. Box 850
Rocklin, CA 95677
Tel: 1-800-533-3231
Email: acpa@pacbell.net
Website: http://www.theacpa.org/default.aspx
(Click on “Contact Us”)

n National Pain Foundation
300 E Hampden Avenue, Suite 100
Englewood, CO 80113
Email: aardrup@nationalpainfoundation.org
Website: www.nationalpainfoundation.org/
(Click on “My Providers”)

n Pain.com
Online-only educational and informational resource for health consumers and professionals who have an interest in pain and its management. Website: www.pain.com/
(Click on “Consumers”)

n Ed Note: a reader has suggested addition of a site offering equipment designed to support individuals dealing with pain and disability – Ergostore

We hope this information will be helpful in your search for better pain care. Please refer to our “Frequently Asked Questions” below for assistance.


Q: Where can I find information on chronic pain and medications that are used to treat pain?

A: You can find information on chronic pain and its treatment at the NIH National Library of Medicine (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/) and MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov/) where over 9,000 prescription and over-the-counter medications are listed.

Q: What can I do when my doctor will not address my pain? How do I find another physician?

A: If your primary physician is unable or unwilling to treat your pain, please ask for a referral to a pain management specialist in your area. You can also contact the American Board of Pain Medicine (http://www.abpm.org/diplomates/index.html or 847-375-4726).

You have the right to have your pain treated. You may need a comprehensive pain evaluation that could include a review of appropriate pain medicines, non-drug therapies, psychological support, and physical/vocational rehabilitation. Using a pain diary can help you with tracking the level and frequency of your pain to discuss with your physician.

Q: My sister has chronic pain and is looking for a pain clinic in her area. How can I find information on such a place?

A: The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is a source for finding certified inpatient and outpatient treatment clinics (http://www.carf.org/ or 1-888-281-6531 toll-free).

Q: Are there any complementary methods of controlling pain other than painkillers?

A: There are many complementary and alternative medicine treatment options. Information and resources are available from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines (NCCAM) (http://nccam.nih.gov/ or 1-888-644-6226 toll-free).

Q: My family and friends do not understand that I am in pain. Do you have a listing of pain support groups in my area?

A: You can find pain support groups in your area by contacting the American Chronic Pain Association (http://www.theacpa.org/ or 1-800-533-3231 toll-free).

Q: Where can I find information on disease-specific pain?

A: Toll-free Information Hotlines are available through the NIH (http://www.nih.gov/health/infoline.htm). You can also find this information at the National Pain Foundation (http://www.painconnection.org) and the NIH Pain Consortium (http://painconsortium.nih.gov/pain_index.html).

Q: My loved ones and I sometimes feel discouraged because of pain. Where can we turn for emotional support?

A: You can find pain support groups in your area by contacting the American Chronic Pain Association (http://www.theacpa.org/ or 1-800-533-3231 toll-free).

Q: Where can I go if I need help paying for my medications?

A: Partnership For Prescription Assistance is a new interactive website brought to you by America’s pharmaceutical companies, doctors, patient advocacy organizations and civic groups to help low-income, uninsured patients get free or nearly free brand-name medicines. This site was designed to help you find patient medication assistance programs for which you may qualify (https://www.pparx.org/Intro.php or 1-888-477-2669 toll-free).

Q: I have been turned down for disability and now my doctor says there is no way I can work again due to failed back surgery syndrome. What can I do?

A: You can contact your local Social Security Administration (http://www.ssa.gov/ or 1-800-772-1213 toll-free) and inquire about procedures for filing an appeal for a denial of benefits.

Our sincere wishes for good health.

Ty Queen
Pain Information Assistant
American Pain Foundation
Dedicated to eliminating the undertreatment of pain in America!

Note: This information is not intended to render medical advice or professional services, and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem. Providing references to organizations or links to websites does not imply endorsement of the information or services provided by them. Those organizations are solely responsible for the information they provide.


* Reproduced with permission of the American Pain Foundation [website now defunct], from the APF's September 27, 2006 e-newsletter.

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