Frequently Asked Questions:
Diagnostic vs. Treatment Procedures—
Understanding the Difference

To find out more about our services for acute and chronic pain control, contact us today.

To determine the cause of an acute or chronic pain condition, pain management specialists may suggest a series of tests. In many cases, a pain management procedure may serve a dual purpose as both a method of obtaining relief and as a diagnostic tool to determine if a suspect area is indeed the source of a painful condition. As a patient, it is important to understand the extent and purpose of a pain control procedure. Find the answers to your procedural questions by reviewing the below list of diagnostic and treatment services.

Diagnostic Procedures:

Type of MedicationIndication
X-Ray Using electromagnetic radiation, X-Rays relay an image of the skeletal structure.
Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT/CT Scan) A CT scan produces a three-dimensional image of internal structures by combining a series of X-Rays that are taken around a central axis.
Bone Scan To identify abnormalities of the bone, a patient is injected with radioactive material and placed on a scanner. The radioactive substance is then detected, relaying the density and strength of bone structures.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) An image of the body is constructed using a magnetic field and radio frequency pulses. Unlike a CT Scan, a MRI offers distinct contrast between varying soft tissues within the body and clearly defines organs, bones, and other internal body structures.
Electromyography (EMG) Small needles are placed within the muscles to monitor the level of electrical activity produced by the musculoskeletal system.
Blood Test To assess a patient’s physiological and biochemical health, a sample of blood taken from a vein is evaluated in a laboratory setting.
Discogram A Discogram is an outpatient diagnostic procedure used to identify discs that are causing pain in the spine. This procedure is done for diagnostic purposes only and is performed under x-ray using radio-opaque dye injections into the discs in an effort to reproduce pain symptoms.

Diagnostic & Treatment Procedures:

Epidural Steroid Injection An injection of anesthetic and steroids used to diagnose and treat spinal nerve irritation that is the result of herniated or torn discs or possibly spinal stenosis.
Facet Joint Injection Using fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, a pain management physician injects an anesthetic and/or steroid into the joint between two vertebras. This procedure is effective as both a diagnostic and treatment tool for spinal arthritis, facet joint syndrome, and sacroilitis.
Stellate Ganglion Blocks To diagnose and relieve pain that is the result of reflex sympathetic dystrophy, causalgia, or shingles, a substance containing anesthetic and/or steroids is injected into the front of the neck.
Trigger Point Injection A trigger point, or knot of muscle, is injected with an anesthetic and/or steroid to detect or relieve pain that is the result of myofascial syndrome, tension headaches, and other conditions.
Peripheral Nerve Block To reduce and diagnose neuralgic pain that is the result of disease, surgery, or injury, an injection containing an anesthetic is placed between the source of nerve injury and its connection to the spinal cord.

To find out more about our services for acute and chronic pain control, contact us today.

More Frequently Asked Questions:

Services We Offer

Alleviating Pain. Restoring Quality of Life.

If you live in or around Boston's North Shore and Cape Ann and suffer from a pain condition,
speak with your primary healthcare provider about Pain Modulation Associates.

Visit us on Facebook

Privacy Policy & Terms of Use
© Copyright 2018 Pain Management Centers of New England. All Rights Reserved | Website Design by DDA