Articles by Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD
and Mahendra Sanapati, MD

How Do You Find Cause Of Pain?

Many people think that pain is a diagnosis, but this is not true. Pain is a symptom that tells the physician that something is wrong. When a physician finds out what is wrong, then the physician can treat the cause of the pain. During your appointment, the pain management physician will take a medical history from you, focusing on your pain. They will review or order appropriate tests. Even then, the physician may not be able to pinpoint your pain’s cause. Diagnostic nerve blocks improve the ability to pinpoint a diagnosis so an individual treatment plan can be created for you.

Structures causing pain in the spine can be identified in only approximately 20% of the patients based on history and various tests including MRI and nerve conduction studies. A correct diagnosis is extremely important for proper management. The physician can identify the proper source of pain by injecting small doses of local anesthetic into the area of the nerve supply and evaluating the patient for appropriate relief based on accepted criteria. Diagnostic nerve blocks can help an interventional pain physician to pinpoint the source of pain and make a diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment.