All chronic pain patients are thoroughly assessed by pain clinicians and offered a spectrum of treatments available for their condition ranging from medications to exercise therapy, manual therapy, naturopathic treatments, healthy eating and lifestyle counseling, psychological counselling, mindfulness and meditation, and interventional therapies (injections and consultation with surgeons both in affiliated institutions).
What to expect in a Chronic Pain Assessment
A Chronic Pain Consultation is a thorough assessment performed by both our Physiatrists (MD) specifically trained in Chronic Pain, and Chiropractors in most cases. The referring physician must provide appropriate background information including relevant medical history, investigations or special tests that have been performed. If the referral does not contain the necessary information, our office will send a memo to the referring physician reminding him/her that the patient will be seen only after the requested information is received.
Each appointment is 2 hours long (30 minutes to complete our intake forms followed by 1.5 hour assessment). Most of the time, a trained chiropractor will obtain detailed medical history, provide physical examination, and discuss the findings with the specialist, who may obtain more information and examine the patient further. There are 3 steps to the process:
- Detailed history - Patients are asked relevant questions relating to the details of their current complaint, what tests or treatments have they received and whether the treatments worked for them, general health history, and information regarding sleep, mood, home and work environment, occupation, among many other things. The goal is to obtain a global understanding of the patient’s complaints.
- Physical examination - With the information obtained from the history, the practitioner will examine the patient’s posture, gait, range of movements, will perform special tests relating to the areas of complaints, assess areas of tenderness to palpation, and also conduct a thorough neurological examination.
- Diagnosis - With information that was obtained from the referring doctor combined with the history and physical examination, a diagnosis can be made. At times the patient may be referred for further testing if more information is required. Afterwards, potential options for treatment can be discussed.