The foundation for receiving effective treatment for back and neck pain is an accurate diagnosis. For many, there are a number of different factors that may be contributing to their spine condition and causing them pain, which can make finding the right diagnosis challenging.
At the Penn Spine Center, we excel at diagnosing all types of back and neck pain using a multidisciplinary approach. We offer the expertise of top providers in the fields of neurosurgery, neurology, neurophysiology, orthopaedic surgery, pain medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) and behavioral medicine to provide a precise diagnosis that translates to the best possible patient outcome.
Our philosophy is based on the belief that strong communication between physicians and patients is key to diagnosing all back and neck conditions. Many different factors may be contributing to the cause of a person’s pain, and many different body parts may be involved. The source of pain can be challenging to unravel, which is why providing focused, personalized attention to the patient is so critical to pinpointing an accurate diagnosis.
At the Penn Spine Center our experts take the time to listen, ask the right questions and perform the latest diagnostic tests to determine the source of an individual’s pain. Once the source of pain is determined and a diagnosis has been made, physicians help educate their patients on their treatment options and possible lifestyle changes. Together, physicians and patients engage in a shared decision-making process to create a treatment plan that is unique to each individual’s spine condition, lifestyle and personal treatment goals.
What to Expect During a Diagnostic Evaluation?
When you are first seen at the Penn Spine Center, you will be connected to the appropriate provider based on your particular spine condition, your primary concerns, past treatments and personal experiences. You will be scheduled quickly and seamlessly with specialists that meet your specific needs through a technologically advanced electronic system. All clinicians caring for you have access to this system and can see each other’s notes and recommendations for care.
Prior to meeting with your doctor, you will meet with a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician assistant that specializes in back and neck conditions and who will be an integral part of your spine care team. They may perform some preliminary diagnostic tests to prepare you for your visit with a provider. These individuals will work as an extension of the physician, advocating your needs and helping to navigate your treatment pathway. Communication, compassion and keeping your best interest in mind is the foundation of your relationship between your advanced practitioner and physicians.
When meeting with your doctor, they will perform a comprehensive evaluation that consists of a detailed medical, vocational and psychosocial history as well as a complete neurological and musculoskeletal exam. Your physician may then order further diagnostic testing to help pinpoint the source of your back pain. We utilize the most advanced diagnostic imaging technology available to make an accurate diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made, our specialists work together to figure out what the next best steps would be.