What is a pain management specialist?

Pain management specialists are doctors who specialise in the management of patients suffering from acute and chronic pain. These physicians are usually anaesthetists.

What to expect at your first appointment


Treatment of your pain will depend on its nature, duration and likely cause. To do this, your pain management specialist will first need to determine these factors and then get more background before making management decisions about treatment. To do this, they will generally ask you about:

  • Previous medical problems
  • Medications
  • Social history

Management of acute and chronic pain

Along with your pain specialist, management of acute and/or chronic is often accomplished with a multidisciplinary team.


Medications either orally, by transdermal patch or infusion are frequently used.

A wide range of medications, often several different types, can be used.

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Mental health

Psychological support can also assist greatly with pain management.

How common is chronic pain in Australia?

About 20% of Australian adults suffer from chronic pain. Injury is the leading cause of chronic pain, with the most common injuries occurring during sports, through auto accidents, and work-related accidents.

What is the difference between acute pain and chronic pain?

Acute pain generally lasts for a short while and then goes away after treatment. On the other hand, pain is termed as chronic when it persists for at least 3 months and you experience it on most days of the week.

Nerve blocks and epidurals

Occasionally procedures like nerve blocks and epidurals are performed to ease chronic pain or assist in managing acute pain.

Medical conditions treated

  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain

Specialty areas

  • Nerve blocks
  • Epidural anaesthesia
  • Paediatric pain
  • Addiction and drug abuse
  • Toxicology

Associated tests

Imaging, especially CT Scans or MRI.


  • Nerve blocks
  • Analgesic infusions
  • Epidurals

Training and qualifications




This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.