Boston PainCare

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some frequently asked questions about our practice can be found below.

If you have a specific question or concern about your own plan of care, or if you have questions about procedures, medications, or other treatments, please contact a member of our clinical staff for assistance at
Boston PainCare at: (781) 647-PAIN (7246).

Rate your pain with our Pain Scale!

You have likely been asked to rate your pain on a scale from “1-10”. But what do the numbers mean? Click below to view the pain scale displayed in every exam room at Boston PainCare.  This pain scale is designed to allow us to understand how much your pain is affecting your ability to manage your daily activities and function.

The Pain Scale

Pain Buddy 

  • Will Boston PainCare prescribe Medical Marijuana?

    Dr. Lee Silk, MDA:   Marijuana has proven to be a powerful and helpful drug for many people with debilitating pain. With that said, it is unlikely that Boston PainCare will begin to prescribe marijuana to patients. We have many powerful painkillers as well as interventional therapies in our arsenal to treat most chronic pain patients. Many of the medications that we use are as powerful as marijuana. The biggest difference between marijuana and other prescription painkillers is that marijuana cannot be measured accurately. It concerns us to prescribe something when we don’t know how much or how little of the drug the patient will actually consume. When a patient is prescribed a certain number of tablets a week, we can accurately keep track of how their pain is affected by an increase or decrease in their dosage. We don’t have the ability to do that when patients use marijuana. This is especially concerning when patients are prescribed multiple medications. We must be especially vigilant and concerned about drug interactions.

    Marijuana may have a place in the treatment of some terminally ill patients with cancer or other disorders. For most chronic pain patients however, we feel confident that we can best treat them with more traditional medications.

    In addition, all physicians receive their ability to prescribe controlled substances/opiate medications from the federal government. Although many states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, the federal government continues to classify marijuana as a dangerous drug with no proven medical benefit. This discrepancy between state and federal law may expose prescribing physicians to potential legal risk.

    Lee S. Silk, MD

  • How do I know when and what type of appointment I should schedule?

    During my initial visit to Boston PainCare, the doctor suggested that I might need functional rehabilitation after I had two or three injections. I have had two injections and I am feeling better. How do I know when I should schedule an appointment and what type of appointment I should schedule?

    David DiBenedetto, MDA:   Regardless of how you are feeling after your injections, please stay in touch with us so we can monitor your progress and determine the next steps in your care plan. If you are unsure of what type of appointment to schedule with us, please call the office and speak to one of our nurses and tell them how you are feeling. They can review your records and the recommendations of your Boston PainCare physicians and help you schedule your next appointment.

    Following up with your medical team after any procedure is important. Feeling better is wonderful, and that is our goal for all of our patients. But we want you to keep feeling better. That may also require functional rehabilitation and strengthening in order to avoid future injury.

    David DiBenedetto, MD

  • Why does BPC provide sedation for injections?

    I have had injections performed at other facilities without anesthesia. Why does Boston PainCare provide sedation?

    Douglas Keene, MDA:   At Boston PainCare, our surgery center is run just like a hospital operating room suite. We can provide all types of anesthesia services. For injections, most patients elect to have a small amount of sedation. We have found that our patients are more comfortable and relaxed during injections when given sedation. If you would prefer not to have anesthesia medications during your procedure, it is not required. Please talk to your Boston PainCare physician if you have any questions or concerns about your procedure. Our objective is for you to be as comfortable as you can be.

    Douglas Keene, MD

  • Do I need a referral from my primary care physician?

    If your insurance plan usually requires a referral to see a specialist, then you will need a referral to come to Boston PainCare.
  • How long will my first appointment be?

    Your first appointment at Boston PainCare will take approximately 2 hours. You will meet with a number of specialists who will assess your pain and explain your treatment options.
  • Will I be able to get a prescription at my first appointment?

    Our physicians may provide prescriptions for non-opioid medications on your first visit. For prescription opioid medication (painkillers), patients may be considered candidates for enrollment in Boston PainCare’s Medication Management program during the initial visit. This enrollment process takes 4-6 weeks to complete. Prescriptions for opioid medications will not be provided until the patient has been accepted into the program.

  • How many physicians work at Boston PainCare? What are their specialties?

    We currently have 12 physicians on our staff. Their specialties include Pain, Anesthesiology, Physiatry (Physical Medication and Rehabilitation), Neurology, Internal Medicine, Chiropractic, and Sleep Medicine. We also have other specialists on staff including physical therapists and psychologists who support and treat our patients as well.

  • Does Boston PainCare treat headaches?

    Yes. Our Boston Headache Institute, headed by Dr. Zahid Bajwa, treats headaches. We also treat patients who suffer from neuralgia, TMJ, and other head, neck, and facial pain conditions.

  • What do we mean by an interdisciplinary or integrated practice?

    Our practice is designed to treat chronic pain in all of its forms. However, pain is caused by a variety of different ailments and conditions. Instead of having patients travel to multiple specialists for individual treatments that may not be coordinated, we have a facility that has all of the relevant specialists under one roof. This allows our specialists to work closely together as a team to coordinate your care.

  • How does Boston SleepCare support Boston PainCare?

    Recent medical studies have shown that approximately 60% of chronic pain patients have some type of sleep disorder. Studies have also shown that medications and treatments for chronic pain are more likely to be effective if the patient is sleeping well and is benefiting from high quality, restorative sleep.

  • Can I have Physical Therapy at Boston PainCare?

    Yes. We have a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility, conveniently located in the same building. Our computer monitored rehabilitation equipment is fun to use and allows our staff to document your progress at each visit.  PT 01


    Absolutely. Our staff will be happy to refer you to a facility that is more convenient for you. We may ask that you “check in” with our physical therapists from time to time so we can document and follow your progress.

  • What is an EMG test?

    Electromyography (EMG) is a test that assesses the health of muscles and the nerves that activate the muscles. A Nerve Conduction Study (NCS) stimulates specific nerves and records their ability to send out electrical impulses to a specific muscle. Both of these tests, usually performed together, are diagnostic tools used to help determine the causes of pain, numbness and weakness.

  • My pain specialist recommended that I have an injection to treat my back pain. Will I feel better right away?

    An Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) may provide some immediate relief to the patient as anesthetic medication is injected in addition to steroid medication. Some patients do not receive long-term relief from the steroids with a single injection. Often 2 or 3 injections, spaced several weeks apart, are required.

    Zygapophyseal Joint Denervation (Facet) is another type of treatment that is routinely performed. It is used as both a treatment and as a diagnostic tool. A patient may feel some immediate relief with this injection, but it may take up to a week for patients to achieve maximum improvement.

    Radiofrequency Ablation (RF) procedures can offer longer lasting relief for patients with facet joint pain. After an RF procedure, however, patients may feel a temporary increase in their pain during the first week. This is normal. After the first week their pain level will begin to decrease.

  • Is there a limit on the number of injections that I can have?

    No. Every patient is different and may require a different number of injections to alleviate their pain. Some patients have one Epidural Steroid Injection and feel great for an indefinite period of time. Others need more frequent injections. Our pain specialists will recommend a variety of treatments that work together to help improve your pain.

Contact us

  • Main Office:
    (781) 647-PAIN / (781) 647-7246
  • Concord Office: (781) 996-6700
  • Natick Office: (781) 895-7980
  • Fax: (781) 290-0720
  • Directions

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