Who Is Qualified to Work in a Pain Management Clinic?

Most pain management clinics employ a multidisciplinary patient-care team that includes physician specialists, psychologists and physical therapists, states WebMD. Many also employ providers of complementary therapies such as therapeutic massage or acupuncture.

Physicians who work in pain management clinics are typically board-certified specialists who have completed additional training in pain-management techniques, states the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. After completing a residency in either anesthesiology, neurology, or physical medicine and rehabilitation, these doctors complete a fellowship, or one additional year of specialized training. After passing a written exam, they are certified in the subspecialty of pain management.

Psychologists are mental health professionals who work with pain patients by helping them manage the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that often accompany chronic pain, the American Psychological Association explains. They also help patients cope with stress, which often increases the sensation of pain. Many psychologists teach relaxation techniques, such as mediation and breathing exercises, and some offer biofeedback. Most practicing psychologists have a masters degree or a doctorate in psychology.

Physical therapists are licensed professionals who have completed at least three years of postgraduate education in physical therapy, reports the U.S. Department of Labor. Some physical therapists are also board-certified in a subspecialty, which requires an additional 2,000 hours of hands-on training and successful completion of a certification exam.