Beyond every other thing, the knowledge of the cause of pain is the first step in taking care of it. In some cases, the cause of the pain may be obvious, such as spinal fracture pain. When it has to do with chronic pain, there may be more than a single cause of the pain, making the diagnosis quite difficult. A pain management physician will have to rely on the patient’s medical history as well as physical and neurological examinations. Therefore, on the first visit, a pain management physician interacts with the patient through dialogue to find out vital information. This interaction will usually involve a detailed medical background or history, both past, and present. The patient needs to describe the pain in such a way that helps the physician understand as this will be a win-win for the patient and the physician.

Often the patient is given a questionnaire before the first visit that requests detailed findings about the pain and its effect on the patient. The patient may also be required to bring some imaging studies (X-rays, CAT scans, and MRI scans) or other tests that have been carried out. Some of the other items that might be expected on your first visit to a pain management physician may include, a pain journal (if you keep one) that records your symptoms, the triggers, and how intense the pain is or was, also a list of any medications you are currently taking to help reduce the effect of the pain, a list of pain relief treatments you’ve used before, and there might need to know things that enhance the pain and things that relieves the pain. All these are what should be expected on your first visit to a pain management physician.

A CT scan i.e “Computed Tomography” is a 3-dimensional imaging study that also evaluates bone and soft tissue of the body, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and a PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography) measures tissue differences at the cellular level. Electrodiagnostic tools including NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) and EMG (Electromyography) are also part of the test that can be conducted. An NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) evaluates the speed of nerve impulses as they move along a nerve. They help determine if there is nerve damage and if nerves have been destroyed. While EMG (Electromyography) test measures muscle response and detects muscle damage and disease. It can help to distinguish between muscle and nerve disorders.