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At Weill Cornell Medicine Division of Pain Management, our team of expert physicians understands the importance of making an accurate diagnosis for pain. We understand that pain is complex and challenging to live with — and that receiving a diagnosis and treatment plan can be a great source of comfort in and of itself.
Medical Evaluation with Pain Management Specialists
When you meet with a pain management physician at Weill Cornell Medicine, he or she will take the time to understand your medical history, including any history of illness, injury, or surgery.
You will be asked several questions about your pain, as well as your goals for improving your quality of life. Your doctor may order blood tests for additional information.
Our division has the most advanced diagnostic tools and technology available. The pain management physicians at Weill Cornell Medicine use a variety of tests to achieve an accurate diagnosis, including:
- X-ray: An X-ray can show the presence and cause of trauma, including herniated discs, osteoarthritis, and other causes.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio-frequency waves to create an image of the spine, and can reveal fine details of the spine, including tumors, nerves, and any damage to the spine. An MRI scan can show details in the spine that can’t normally be seen on an x-ray.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan: A CT scan is a noninvasive procedure that uses x-rays to produce a three-dimensional image of the spine and is sometimes used to reveal compression to the nerves.
- Myelogram: This test is used primarily to better understand back pain. Dye is inserted into the spinal canal to identify compression points.
- Electromyogram (EMG): During this test, fine needles are inserted into specific muscles to measure their response to electrical signals.
Other tests may be used in addition to those listed above. Once your physician has evaluated the test results and achieved a diagnosis, you and your physician will work together to determine the best treatment plan for your specific condition and goals.