Our team at Commonwealth Spine and Pain Specialists is dedicated to helping you find the most appropriate treatment plan for your pain condition or sports injury. In order to design the most effective treatment plan for you, we conduct an important first meeting between you and one of our Board-Certified Doctors of Pain Management and Anesthesiology. This meeting is called the diagnostic consultation.
What Happens at My Diagnostic Consultation?
At the diagnostic consultation, you will meet with one of our pain management doctors to discuss your pain condition. Our doctors require a completed health history form, request your referring doctor to include information on your most recent three visits to him or her, as well as the results of any advanced imaging and X-rays he or she has ordered. This information helps us put together a treatment plan that can offer immediate benefits.
The differential diagnostic process at Commonwealth Spine and Pain Specialists typically includes three steps:
- Your pain specialist will discuss your health history with you, eliciting details such as how your pain started, how long you have had it, and how you experience it — since everyone experiences pain differently. He will want to know the extent to which your pain condition influences your daily activities and, in a larger sense, your quality of life.
- DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING Usually your pain specialist will use diagnostic imaging (DI) to identify and rule out some causes of your pain. He may perform an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), so that he can quickly identify swelling, as well as any abnormalities in your soft tissue, muscles, vascular tissues, and skeletal structures. Depending on your specialist’s MRI findings, he may refer you for an ultrasound. An ultrasound directly visualizes any problem areas found in your MRI report. MRI and ultrasound findings are an effective way to isolate the area from which your pain originates.
- PHYSICAL EXAM Finally, your pain specialist will perform a comprehensive physical exam. He will ascertain your level of pain during your visit and administer a series of activity-based questions to determine what does and does not aggravate your pain, as well as assessing for mobility and checking your vital signs.
Why Correct Diagnosis by Your Pain Specialist Matters
Pain is a complex, subjective, usually invisible medical problem that, as you know, can affect not only your physical but mental and emotional well-being: your quality of life. The comprehensive, patient-centered approach our Board-Certified Doctors of Pain Management take at your diagnostic consultation is critical to their ability to create a unique treatment plan that will work for you.
Commonwealth Spine and Pain Specialists’ treatment plan for you is distinguished by these features:
- Your treatment plan is specific to you alone: tailored to your condition/injury and degree of pain; your needs; and your personal preferences.
- Depending on the findings at your diagnostic consultation, your treatment plan may involve a single approach or a combination of treatment modalities. Our multidisciplinary approach frequently includes medications and special procedures; psychological therapies; and rehabilitation therapies.
- At Commonwealth Spine and Pain Specialists, we want to ensure smooth continuity of care for you; so with your permission, we are glad to keep your referring physician apprised of our findings and treatment modalities.
At Commonwealth Spine and Pain Specialists, all of our team members respect your unique pain condition and your knowledge of your body. Because we understand and empathize with the suffering that first brings you to our practice, we leave no stone unturned in delivering personal, patient-centered care to restore your best quality of life. Please contact us at (804) 288-7246 or schedule your diagnostic consultation online.