Diagnostic Testing | Stanford Pain & Sports Medicine of NYC
In order to gain an accurate assessment of your painful condition it may beÂ necessary to have X-rays, a CT-Scan, MRI, EMG, or another diagnostic test such as discography or EMG. Diagnostic testing is painless and allows the pain management specialists ofÂ Stanford Pain & Sports Medicine of NYCÂ to pinpoint the exact reason and location of your pain. DiagnosticÂ imagingÂ offers necessaryÂ information to help your painÂ managementÂ specialistÂ better plan your treatment andÂ pain management. The type of imaging Â test your doctor will order willÂ depend on your symptoms and the part of your body being examined.
CT-Scan: AÂ CT-Scan is a medical diagnostic test that uses x-rays combined with computerÂ imagingÂ to produce a high-tech 2D or 3D image. CT-Scans are used to visualize specific details within the bone and soft tissues of the body that may not be as clear on a general X-ray.Â CT scans can be performed on any part of the body and clearly show several kinds of body tissue (bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels) with great clarity.
Discography:Â Since discography is a more invasive procedure than other diagnostic tests, your pain management doctor only uses it when he absolutely (s)has to. You may feel some pain during the injection, but itâ€™s usually short-lived. There is no permanent damage from the test, as your body eventually absorbs and discards the dye. The discography test is done when your doctor suspects a disc is causing your pain but canâ€™t find other corroborating evidence. During the discography:
- The Â process takes about a half hour, although you may need up to three hours from the time you arrive to the time you can leave.
- You may be given a sedative to help you relax.
- A fluoroscope or X-ray allows your doctor to pinpoint the spot to insert the needle with the dye.
- If your back pain is due to the disc, you may feel similar pain during the injection. It is not intolerable, and the sedative helps reduce the pain.
- After the dye is injected, the fluoroscope or X-ray shows if the dye stayed in the center of your disc, indicating that itâ€™s healthy, or not.
Your doctor reviews the image while you relax and recuperate.
Electromyography:Â An electromyography (EMG) is a type of muscle test offered by the specialists of Stanford Pain & Sports Medicine of NYC. This painless test can reveal problems in muscles themselves, as well as in the nerves that transmit motor signals between the muscle and your brain.
There are two types of electromyography tests:
- Using needle electrodes
- Using surface electrodes
WhichÂ of the two types of tests your pain management doctor chooses depends on several factors including the location of the muscle to be tested. For needle tests, the doctor sticks tiny needles directly into the muscle. All EMG tests performed by our pain management doctors are quite safe when done properly. The specialists at Stanford Pain and Sports Medicine are experienced in both types of EMG tests.
An electromyography (EMG) test is used to evaluate muscle and nerve activity during contraction. EMGs help diagnose neurological disorders, muscle disease, and nerve abnormalities associated with pain. Our doctorsÂ will order this test for variousÂ reasons including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Radiculopathy (pinched nerve roots)
- Muscle disease
MRI:Â Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a method of obtaining images of a specified region of your body without the use of radiation (X-Ray technology). During an MRI test, signals are sent through the body then processed by aÂ scanner to depict anatomy in variousÂ orientations that your pain management doctor is interested in investigating.
Please note: It is not possible to have an MRI scan if you have the following:
- A heart pacemaker
- Certain surgical plates within your head
- Certain metallic heart valves
- Certain inner ear valves
- Metal fragments within your eye or head
Ultrasound (Diagnostic): Diagnostic Ultrasounds (often referred to as “musculoskeletal ultrasounds”) are used toÂ evaluate joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves.Â Musculoskeletal ultrasound uses sonic waves and therefore there is no exposure to radiation. This noninvasive testÂ offers real-time imaging, allowing for examinations of structures at rest and in motion.Â This ability to capture the movement of musculoskeletal components is very different from other diagnostic testÂ and yields an extraordinarilyÂ accurate diagnoses.
X-Rays:Â X-Rays are oftentimes ordered by our doctors toÂ acquire images inside the body.Â X-rays are one of the most common digital imaging test ordered by doctorâ€™s worldwide.Â Modern X-ray technology uses very low dose radiation.
Stanford Pain & Sports Medicine of NYC focusesÂ solelyÂ on theÂ prevention, diagnosis, best in class treatment and rehabilitation of painful disorders. ComprehensiveÂ assessments by our pain management doctors are an essential component of ourÂ pain management & sportsÂ medicineÂ practice. We are committed to providing personalized solutions for pain to greatly improve your quality of life. We understand thatÂ each patient has a unique problem and therefore customize each and every pain management program.
Stanford Pain & Sports Medicine of NYC
51 East 25th St, 4th Floor, Ste B
New York, NY 10010