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Diagnostic Tests


Advanced Physical Medicine has many options available to treat chronic pain.  We understand that successful treatment begins only after a correct diagnosis.  These diagnostic tests help us pinpoint the exact source of your pain, allowing us to choose the most appropriate treatment options for your condition.  


Bone Scan 

Bone scans give an image of the entire skeleton using a radioactive substance.  This may detect fractures not seen by a typical x-ray and can also identify degenerative joint disease, tumors, and infections.


A bone scan uses a radioactive tracer to get a better picture of bone health than a regular x-ray test could provide. The tracer substance is absorbed into the bones in differing amounts depending upon blood supply, cancer growth, bone growth and repair, infections, and other conditions. A bone scan can help find the cause or location of unexplained bone pain.


CT or CAT Scans

CT or CAT scans (computed axial tomography) are used when there is a need to look at bone structures. Sometimes CT scans are used along with a dye to help the doctor find where a disc is leaking or where a nerve is pinched.


EMG (electromyography)

An EMG measures the electrical activity in your muscles. It is performed in the comfort of our office and does not require the use of sedation or x-rays.  It is used to determine muscle function. The EMG consists of a small, smooth needle being placed in different muscles.  This involves a little "prick" as it passes through the skin and may be associated with some discomfort.  EMG tests are conducted in our office.  



NCS (nerve conduction studies)

The NCS measures how well your nerves conduct electrical signals. It is performed in the comfort of our office and does not require the use of sedation or x-rays.  It is used to determine nerve function. The NCS consists of a small electrical impulse applied over the nerve, usually on the arm or leg.  This tiny shock feels like a "spark" or a "tap" and may cause the hand or foot to jump a bit. NCS tests are conducted in our office.  



MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses magnetic fields to look at soft-tissue structures within the body. Spinal discs are composed of soft tissue rather than bone, and as a result an MRI is often ordered to assess the health status of discs. An MRI can also provide a clear picture of bone health and aid in identifying inflammation or edema.



X-rays may identify bone problems such as tumors, fractures, degenerative disc disease, dislocations, and spondylolisthesis (slippage of one vertebrae onto another).

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