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People develop pain for many reasons. Pain from recent surgery, injury, or medical illness is called acute pain. In many cases, this pain can be managed immediately and will usually get better soon. For more serious pain, however, your primary care doctor may ask a pain management doctor to help manage your pain while you are healing.
Back or neck pain that persists beyond six weeks may require further evaluation to accurately and quickly diagnose the cause and implement an effective treatment plan. In general, earlier evaluation with pain typically leads to greater diagnostic accuracy and faster relief.
If your pain persists after the healing period, you might have chronic pain. If the current treatment you are receiving stops working or your pain begins to get worse over time, your primary care doctor may suggest that you see a pain management doctor.
Cancer pain is another condition that can be managed by a pain medicine doctor while the patient continues to receive cancer treatment. The pain can be due to cancer surgery or treatment procedures, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy, or the tumor itself.