Common Tests Used to Diagnose Chronic Pain

Common Tests Used to Diagnose Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can have a ripple effect on your daily life. It can cause mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, as well as prompt problems in your work and personal lives. Chronic pain is just that: pain that lasts for an extended period of time – from months to years. It can occur anywhere in the body and can be hard to pinpoint what is causing it and therefore, make it hard to diagnose and treat. Chronic pain can be felt as aching, burning, squeezing, stiffness, stinging, throbbing or shooting pain.

Here we examine ways that our team of doctors at Pain Control Associates can determine if you are facing chronic pain – the first step toward dialing it back.

  1. Thorough conversation: We will sit down with you and listen to your pain story. While pain is subjective, we will do our best to determine what is going on with your body through a clear conversation. We will discuss: where you are feeling your pain, what it is on a scale of 1 to 10, how often it occurs, what makes it worse or better, how it is affecting your daily life, how your mental health is currently and if you have had any injuries, surgeries, illnesses or recent diagnoses.
  2. Health exam: We will perform an exam based on our conversation and to work toward next steps and what additional tests may be needed.
  3. Blood or urine tests: Depending on where your pain is occurring and how it is presenting itself, we will recommend blood or urine testing to help guide our physicians in the right direction.
  4. Imaging tests: An MRI or x-ray may be recommended so we can see what is going on. This may be especially helpful if you have had an accident or injury that may be behind your chronic pain. 

Next Steps on Your Chronic Pain Journey

Once our doctors have a better sense of what is prompting your chronic pain, we will work with you on the best next steps. Treatments can include medication, physical therapy, nerve blocks or mental health treatment. Sometimes chronic pain management requires a mix of treatments to help you live your best life every day. We also may recommend surgery, mediation therapy, biofeedback, electrical stimulation and behavior modification.

Above all, we will bring compassion to your care as we understand that a life with pain is stressful and can cause a myriad of issues. We will listen to you as we progress through our initial treatment plan and adjust as needed if something is not working as we had thought. Working with you collaboratively will help ensure that we have put the optimal treatment plan in place. We will discuss the course of action during every appointment to make sure we are making progress.

Connect with us through our online contact form to make an appointment today.


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Neck Pain

  • Herniated disc
  • Spondylosis (Axial Neck Pain)
  • Failed Surgical Neck Syndrome
  • Biomechanical (Postural) Pain
  • Whiplash

Musculoskeletal Injuries

  • Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)
  • Herpes Zoster Radiculopathy (Shingles)
  • Fibromyalgia

Low Back Pain

  • Spondylosis (Axial Back Pain)
  • Compression Fracture
  • Scoliosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Internal Disc Disruption (Annular Tear)
  • Spondylosis (Axial Back Pain)
  • Facet-Mediated Pain
  • Compression Fractures
  • Scoliosis
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Spondylolysis/Spondylolisthesis
  • Failed Surgical Back Syndrome
  • Biomechanical (Postural) Pain


  • Cervicogenic Headache
  • Occipital Headache

Work Injuries

  • Prompt diagnosis and treatment
  • Close coordination with case workers
  • Facilitate early return to work

Spinal Interventions

  • IDET
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Racz Catheter Lysis of Adhesions
  • Radiofrequency Facets
  • Sacroiliac Joint Injections
  • Occipital Nerve Blocks
  • Stellate Ganglion Blocks
  • Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks
  • Discography (Lumbar & Cervical)
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Trigger Point Injections

Psychological Treatment

  • Behavioral Strategies to Help Manage Pain
  • Coping Skills
  • Strategies to Improve Sleep
  • Biofeedback & Relaxation Training
  • Management of Depression

Surgical Treatment

  • Neuromodulation (Spinal Cord Stimulation)

Medication Management

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Neuropathic Medications
  • Opioid Medications


  • Electrodiagnosis of nerve-related injuries and disorders

Physical Therapy

  • Skilled Manual Therapy
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Acupuncture