Patient Evaluation for Pain

Diagnosing the source or cause of pain can be difficult. Because each person perceives pain differently, patients are encouraged to be active partners in their care.

You will receive an in-depth questionnaire that asks:

  • Where the pain is located
  • What it feels like (sharp, throbbing, aching)
  • When it usually occurs (for example, at night or climbing stairs)

Information from the questionnaire and a complete physical exam help the staff create a treatment plan. Some patients may keep a journal to record specific details related to their pain during treatment. This helps the pain specialist know whether the treatment is working or needs adjusting.

Medical Exam and History

Many people who suffer from pain have already undergone tests or are taking medication. For the first visit to the Sackler Center, patients should bring:

  • All past studies (MRI, CAT scan, X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests)
  • Any evaluations from other physicians
  • Lists of all current and past medications and their side effects

Based on the first consultation and physical exam, the pain specialist will determine whether you  can be helped and appropriate treatment options will be discussed.