Diagnostic Procedures for Pain

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Diagnostic Procedures Uncover the Source of Your Pain

Diagnostic Injections and Pain ManagementAt Willamette Pain and Spine, we understand that uncovering the source of your suffering is essential to reducing your discomfort. Because the body’s neurological system is both delicate and complex, pain in one area of the body may originate in a completely different place. Diagnostic procedures help us to discover the type and location of physical issues so we can provide the most effective treatment possible.

Our diagnostic procedures function in two ways. We utilize them to uncover the exact source of your pain, so we can take the proper steps to minimize it. In addition, many of our tests are forms of treatment in and of themselves, or segue into further treatments once we have located the origin of your discomfort.

At Willamette Pain and Spine, we offer the following, state-of-the-art treatments to help make your life more comfortable:

  • Medial Branch Block: During this procedure, strong local anesthetic is injected at the medial branch nerves that serve the facet joints of the spine, which are the bony projections meeting on either side of the vertebra. This procedure helps to determine if the pain you are experiencing originates in the facet joint, which we determine by the amount and location of pain relief you feel after the process is complete.Medial branch blocks can also be used as the first step in treatment. Once your physician discovers what area is causing you pain, a radiofrequency ablation may be used to further reduce symptoms.
  • Facet Joint Injection: To confirm that the facet joint is the source of discomfort, your physician may perform a facet joint injection, which, like the medial branch block, uses anaesthetic in an attempt to locate your pain. If you experience relief after this injection, your physician can assume that your pain originates in this joint and begin effective treatment.This procedure may also be used as a segue into treatment with a followup corticosteroid or steroid injection to reduce inflammation and associated pain arising from the joint area. Radiofrequency ablation may also follow a facet joint injection, to further relieve discomfort.
  • Sympathetic Block Injection: A sympathetic nerve block injection can help to control chronic pain by targeting the sympathetic nervous system, which encompasses a group of nerves that spread from the spine to the rest of body to help control involuntary physical functions like digestion and sweating. We use this procedure diagnostically in order to determine where in the sympathetic nervous system your pain originates.
  • Discography: In some cases, a discogram may be necessary to discover the cause of back pain. In this case, your physician will inject dye or contrast material into two or more spinal discs in order to reveal painful abnormalities. This procedure can be performed in both the cervical and lumbar regions.

At Willamette Pain and Spine, our first priority is to determine the source of your pain so we can maximize the efficacy of your treatment. If you are struggling with chronic pain but are unsure of the source, contact us today. We will do everything we can to discover the root of your discomfort.