ZocdocAnswersWhat kind of doctor should I see for pain?

Question

What kind of doctor should I see for pain?

I have unexplained pain on the right side of my body from the waist up. My doctor didn't know what to tell me. What kind of doc should I see?

Answer

Pain is a very difficult thing for many reasons. As a patient, it obviously affects your quality of life to a great degree. As a physician, there are so many things that can cause pain that it can be difficult to determine what the source is. Depending on the severity of the pain and any other symptoms that you may be having, your primary care doctor is generally an excellent place to start. In your situation, it sounds like your doctor did not make any further referrals. As he or she is the one who knows you best, it is entirely appropriate on your part to ask him or her what the next step should be. Should you meet with a specialist? Start a pain medication? Follow up in a few weeks or if the pain gets worse? Usually your doctor will have considered all of these, and will have made some recommendation. If that did not seem to happen in your case, then it is an important thing to clarify so that you do not suffer needlessly. If your doctor does not make a recommendation, then you can seek further help with either a pain management doctor or another physician who can make the appropriate determination if there is a physical basis for your pain.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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