Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if I have forms that need to be filled out by my provider?
Forms typically require two weeks to process and need to be discussed with your provider at your clinic visit to clarify documentation requirements and responsibility. If you have an attorney or third party requesting forms or a letter, the request needs to come from the attorney’s or third party’s office in writing.
What should I do if I need more information about my condition or treatment?
Discuss any questions or concerns with your provider at your clinic visit. We suggest you come with a list of your questions in preparation for your appointment. You can also look at the Patient Education links we have provided. Click here for Patient Education
Do you do “radio-frequency ablation?”
Yes, at the main Complete Pain Care location in Framingham and at our satellite location in Marlborough.
How can I reach the doctor?
The office is open Mon-Thursday from 8AM to 4PM, and Fridays from 8AM to 3PM. The office is closed weekends, and most US holidays. If your call is of an urgent nature and it is after hours, call (508) 665-4344 and follow the prompts for paging Dr. Pearl. If this is an emergency, call 9-1-1, or have someone take you to an emergency room.
What should I do if my problems or symptoms continue, worsen or come back?
Tell your provider about your symptoms at your next scheduled visit. If you do not have a scheduled appointment, call to schedule the next available appointment at (508) 665-4344.
What happens if my pain narcotic medication is changed?
You should bring your unused medication to the clinic appointment. Your medication will be safely disposed.
What should I do if my medicine is not working?
It may take some time to see the benefits of new medications; however, if you have been on your new medicine for 14 days and it isn’t helping your pain, please make an appointment in the clinic. We cannot make changes to medication or prescriptions over the phone.
I just got a new prescription. Is it safe to drive?
Many medications prescribed to treat pain, may cause fatigue, sedation or dizziness. Please do not drive the first time you take a new medication or are prescribed a higher dose of a usual medication. Most medications will reach stable blood levels after a few days, but some can take as long as a week to two weeks. If you are experiencing any side effects that may impair your ability to drive, do not get behind the wheel or operate machinery that may cause harm to you or someone else. When you receive a prescription for a new medication, we will counsel you about side effects and will provide you with information about the medication. We will also answer your questions. Often, after a few days on a new dose or medication, side effects will diminish. Usually, by two weeks on a new medication or a higher dose of a usual medication, blood levels are stabilized and side effects are minimal. If you feel sedated or dizzy from a new dose/medication, please contact your doctor. The medication or dose may be changed. After all, our goal is to have you more functional, not dizzy and sedated. Please use good judgment.
What should I expect to feel after the procedure?
The procedure site may be sore for a couple of days. Applying ice to the area for 20 minutes at a time a few times a day may be helpful in reducing any discomfort. Most people experience improvement within a couple of days, but it may take up to 2 weeks to experience full pain relief. To download Post Procedure Instructions, please click here.
Are there any restrictions on the day of the procedure?
If you are going to have a procedure done in the head, neck or upper back, you should not eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure. You should take your usual medications in the morning, in any case, with a sip of water. For low back procedures, except for lumbar sympathetic blocks, you can eat a light meal prior to the procedure. Please tell the doctor if you are on any blood thinners, like Coumadin or Plavix as these must be discontinued up to one week before the procedure. You must check with your prescribing physician to be sure you can safely come off of these blood thinners. In some cases, the procedure will not be able to be done, because the blood thinners are too important to your health to stop them. You will need to have someone drive you home after any procedure, as they typically involve a local anesthetic. It is best to limit your activities for the remainder of the day. You should not drive a car after a procedure as your reflexes may be temporarily dulled and your muscles may be temporarily weaker. Keep the injection site clean and dry on the day of the procedure. To download Pre Procedure Instructions, please click here
Will I be given prescription medication on my first visit?
We do not usually prescribe medications on the first visit, especially opioid medications. If you are seeking medical management for your pain, please be aware that we will work with your Primary Care Physician in managing prescriptions for opioids. We do not take on patients who are exclusively looking for long-term opioid management.
What course of treatment can I expect from this clinic?
We typically perform an initial consultation and then decide on the best course of treatment. This may include injections, medications, physical therapy, behavioral therapy (pain psychology), implants, enrollment in a research studies, or even no further clinic treatment. If we recommend certain pain medications, we may ask your primary care physician to assist us in prescribing them, especially once you have achieved a stable dose of medication. We strive to schedule injections or other procedures within two weeks of the initial consultation. If we have an opening in the schedule, we may be able to schedule an injection on the same day of your initial clinic consultation.
What types of insurance do you accept?
We accept most major health care plans. Please call us at 508-665-4344 and speak with a representative to verify that we accept your insurance. We do not accept Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance or MassHealth.
How do I become a new patient?
To make an appointment for any of our locations, please call (508) 665-4344.
Am I able to self refer?
Patients may self refer, however, all patients are required to be under the care of a primary care physician and we will need to obtain medical records to determine what treatment options have been attempted and what we can offer you in the future.If your insurance requires you to have a referral, you must also obtain an appropriate referral from your primary care physician. To make an appointment for any of our locations, please call (508) 665-4344
What if I have more pain after my injection?
If you received a therapeutic injection using local anesthetic (numbing medication) and a steroid, it might take three to seven days and occasionally up to two weeks for the steroid to work. If you received only numbing medicine, this is a diagnostic injection, and the pain might return when the numbing medicine wears off. Sometimes pain is not relieved with one injection. Your clinician may recommend additional injections. For steroid injections, we recommend waiting two to four weeks between injections. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please call us at (508) 665-4344.
What if I need my medical records sent to myself or another party?
If you need copies of your records, you need to sign a release of information form and provide complete information about where to send the records, including the address. Click here for the release of information form.
How do I get my test results?
If your test was ordered through Complete Pain Care, we will discuss results with you during your next clinic visit. If your primary care clinician ordered the test, please contact that office for results.
What can I expect if I’m talking opioids (narcotics) and my doctor will no longer write the prescriptions?
We will evaluate your list of medications during the initial visit and provide our recommendation about continuing opioid therapy. We may recommend another course of treatment that does not include opioids. We do not write prescription for opioids on the first clinic visit, so please do not arrive with the expectation that we will automatically refill your prescription.
When should I call the doctor urgently? (What is an urgent phone call?)
The office is open Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm, for scheduling appointments or for follow up issues. However, there are times when you should contact your doctor urgently. You should call the doctor immediately and go to the emergency room if you experience severe back pain, numbness or weakness in your legs, or loss of bladder or bowel control after a procedure. Additionally, if you develop a fever or notice any signs of infection (redness, warmth and swelling) near the injection site, call the doctor. You should also call the doctor if you feel you are suffering from a side effect from a medication that the doctor prescribed for you. If at any time, you experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, or feel you are suffering from an allergic reaction, call 9-1-1.
What if the prescribed medication, test or treatment is not covered by my insurance?
All procedures scheduled in advance are submitted to your insurance company before the procedure. If medications are not covered by insurance, your pharmacy should fax us at (508) 665-4355 to start the prior authorization process with your insurance company. If a prior authorization is needed, this may take one to two weeks to complete. We will notify your pharmacy once we receive the decision.
What if I have side effects from my medication?
If you have symptoms such as hives or trouble breathing, stop taking the medicine and call 911. Less serious side effects such as nausea, increased tiredness or mild dizziness usually get better within a few days. If they do not, please schedule an appointment at the clinic.
How do I go about having my medication refilled?
If you are a current patient of Complete Pain Care and have been seen fairly recently, you should call the pain center directly at (508) 665-4344 and after the prompt for medication refills, leave a message. Please include the name of the medication, and the dose and frequency of the medication takes as well as the pharmacy you use. The prescription will be “called in” within 48 hours of the request and is available for pick-up on the third business day after leaving the message. Patients are advised to call at least 72 hours prior to the date of refill.
Why can’t I drive or eat if I’m scheduled for a procedure?
Some procedures may require sedation that prevents you from safely eating or drinking. Also, some procedures may inhibit movement in parts of your body that would make it difficult or unsafe for you to drive. Since we cannot be sure how the treatment will affect you, we require you to follow instructions that will be provided. Click here to download pre-procedure instructions.
What can I expect at my first visit?
Your first visit will be an initial evaluation that will involve reviewing relevant information such as medical history, medications and previous treatments. You should bring in all relevant medical records, imaging reports and test results. The more information you can provide at this visit, the quicker we can develop an appropriate recommendation for managing your pain. At the first visit, we will talk with you about your medical history and perform a physical exam. We will discuss your pain and describe treatment options with you. You may be asked to have further diagnostic work up or obtain copies of medical notes or reports. With your input, a multi-disciplinary treatment program will be developed to help you return to you! For further information about your first visit, click here.
Who will be involved in my care?
You will be seen by various medical professionals during your visit. Since we are a full service clinic, there may be non-physician clinical staff involved in your care working under the direction of our physician. This offers the advantage of many clinicians thinking about your conditions and care. There will also be medical assistants who assist with your care during your visit.
Which Areas do you serve?
We serve the greater Metrowest and surrounding areas, including Ashland, Boylston, Framingham, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Wayland, Westborough and Upton. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the care or advice given by your physician. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We’ll find the right treatment for you.