Pain Diagnostic Methods

Diagnostic testing is an integral component of differential diagnosis. In routine clinical practice, examinations have tended to become more cursory, largely because of increased demands on practitioners’ time, compounded by patient expectations of technological advances. The end result may lead to an overreliance on technology for basic clinical diagnosis. The purpose of this session is 2-fold: 1) to provide a review (for some, an introduction) to basic structural and functional studies used for the diagnosis of pain-related problems, and 2) to call attention to the limitations of such studies and the importance of establishing clinical relevance to their findings. Factors that adversely affect clinical management, potentially resulting in failed treatment, will be discussed, along with best practices for utilizing studies to help enhance clinical outcomes for treatment.

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