What types of testing might be done to diagnose my pain?

During your initial consultation the doctor will examine you and talk about the chronic pain you are experiencing. Depending on your condition and history, the doctor may request you to undergo one of the following procedures to better diagnosis the cause of your pain:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - Similar to the CT scan, this diagnostic imaging test can show the physician detailed and clear images used to diagnose and identify numerous pain causing conditions. This technique can be done lying down or standing, "open" or "closed".
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan - A special machine is use to scan the problem area and generate images. These images may expose problems such as herniated disks and other problems related to your bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
  • X-Ray - This is the oldest form of medical imaging. Pictures are taken of the inside of your body to diagnosis spinal defects, degenerative conditions, and injuries.
  • Bone Scan - A radioactive substance is injected into your vein to detect bone tumors, osteoporosis, or other compression fractures.
  • Electrodiagnostic Studies - This test looks at your nerve conduction pathways by measuring how long it takes for an electrical charge to travel from a needle in your spine to a needle in your leg. It can show nerve compression caused by a herniated disk or spinal stinosis.
  • Myelography - Used during x-rays, this test requires a special dye to be injected into your spinal canal. Herniated disks or other lesions show up on x-rays due to the dye.

Most tests are quick, easy and relatively painless.

If you have RECENT TESTING REPORTS to bring to your initial consultation, your doctor may not require you to have new testing done.

If testing is necessary, ask our staff at the pain management center for the location of a testing facility near you.


What causes chronic back pain?

There are a number of factors and conditions that can cause chronic back pain. As a matter of fact, back pain ranks second only to headaches as the most frequent location of pain, especially the lower back area. Some of the more common causes of back pain are:

  • Herniated Disk - This condition is not unusual and is caused when normal wear and tear of the back causes a disk to rupture. Bulging of the disks is common and can become quite painful when the bulging is excessive or disk fragments place pressure on nearby nerves. Exceptional strain to the back can also cause disks to rupture.
  • Muscle Strains - This pain along your spine can be caused by inflamed joints, strained muscles, joints, or ligaments.
  • Osteoarthritis - This is a degenerative joint condition that causes deterioration of the cartilage that covers your vertebrae. Brought about mainly by aging, this condition can also start from an injury and overloading.
  • Sciatica - Inflammation or nerve compression in your lower back due to the condition can cause leg pain.
  • Osteoporosis - This condition causes bones to become brittle and weak, resulting in painful compression fractures in the vertebrae.
  • Spasms - Muscles respond to and isolate pain during an injury to prevent further damage.
  • Fibromyalgia - Achiness, tenderness, and stiffness occur in the muscles and joints where tendons attach to the bones. This is a chronic syndrome.

There are many other factors that can contribute to your back pain such as poor muscle tone, excess weight, improper lifting, poor sitting and standing posture, or staying in one position for long periods of time.

Discuss any of these factors that apply to you during your pain management consultation. Be sure to share with the physician any changes in your life style or pain condition during your follow-up appointments.


When should I take prescribed medications to relieve back pain or other pains?

It is always important to follow the directions just as the doctor has prescribed and take your medication regularly, even around the clock. You should not wait until the pain becomes severe to take your medication, as pain is easier to control when it is mild. It is difficult for you and your doctor to assess the effectiveness of your medication if it is not taken properly.

If you find that your medication is not adequately alleviating your pain or you are experiencing unusual side effects, contact your pain center immediately.

Your doctor can evaluate the situation and reassess your treatment plan though an appointment called a "Medication Adjustment".

You are required to bring all medications prescribed to you by the pain center to any Medication Adjustment appointment.



Opioid medications may be prescribed at our Clinic. However, a full consultation with the Physician is required, including review of all previous medical treatment and medications. If opioid medications are prescribed, the patient is usually asked to be seen on a monthly basis according to Florida Board of Medical Examiner guidelines


$100 Initial Fee