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The Right Diagnosis: How Our Doctors Find Out What Is Causing Your Pain

There are many reasons that people have pain. Our job as pain management specialists is to figure out what is causing your pain and establish the diagnosis with you. This is important not only for the peace of mind of knowing what is wrong but also to plan the best and most focused treatment options.

Sometimes the diagnosis is simple and straightforward. Other times it can be complicated. Either way, we are determined to find out what is causing your pain so that we can fix the problem.

Diagnosing Pain: What To Expect

To find the culprit, we line up the suspects. This starts at the first appointment in our office and continues with each visit.

For example, pain in the hip area can be due to problems in the back joints, hips joint, sacroiliac joint, nerves, or nearby muscles. All are on the list as potential causes of pain, but which one is it?

Sometimes the pain can be coming from more than one source. Several things help to clarify the situation:

1. Your description of the pain, where it is, how it started, what makes it worse, what makes the pain better, are often the most critical pieces of information for the provider.
2. We perform a physical examination that gives us more clues.
3. Your provider may seek additional testing, such as imaging in the form of x-ray, CT, or MRI. Imaging the problem area is one of the most helpful ways for a provider to rule in or rule out certain musculoskeletal diagnoses.
4. Other testing may also be recommended including nerve testing or electromyography, laboratory testing to evaluate for systemic illness or autoinflammatory issues.
5. Our physician may recommend an injection for the most likely cause of your pain. The injection can help in two ways; by being both diagnostic and therapeutic. If the injection helps, then that tells both the doctor and the patient that we have targeted the likely pain generator.

On the occasion that an injection is not as effective as we would like, then that information is also useful as one can target a separate region to compare the results. We will continue to work with patients as necessary to determine exactly where the pain is coming from which at times requires further detailed imaging or diagnostic injection.

The Pathway to Lasting Pain Relief

Every pain issue is unique. Our team at National Spine & Pain Centers is committed to getting the right diagnosis for you, and that’s the beginning of your pathway to pain relief.

Whether it’s back, neck, shoulder, leg, knee, or hand pain, our board-certified doctors are experts in pain management who can accurately diagnose your pain and provide safe & effective non-surgical treatments. Get started by filling out our quick appointment request form and come in for a visit to see one of our specialists at any of our 30+ conveniently located offices…