Pain Mapping

Innovative Pain Mapping

Utilizing state-of-the-art tools, pain mapping is a groundbreaking process that allows for the precise pinpointing and isolation of back and neck pain. When a nerve becomes irritated, it can be extremely challenging to find the exact pain source and often MRIs or CT scans are not adequate. But at MISI, we use real-time, medication-filled X-ray injections to find the specific nerve causing the pain, a procedure that is highly successful and rare to find among our peers, as it must be performed by a trained physician.

Lower back pain is the number one pain problem seen in general pain clinic.  The cause of lower back pain can be difficult to diagnose at times and the pain sources are difficult to identify with the conventional methods. Spinal pain mapping is a sequence of well organized nerve block procedures.

Pain Mapping Study

In one study, 104 adult patients underwent spinal pain mapping and were then examined and analyzed. All of the  patients had intractable lower back pain of an undetermined cause after medical history, physical examination and 4-view roentgenographic evaluation of the lumbar spine had been undertaken to locate the cause of the pain. Additionally, forty one  patients (thirty nine percent) had one or multiple of the following additional tests done, which included CT, MRI, EMG/NC but all failed to identify the causes of the pain. All patients had failed to respond to any of the conservative therapies.

Results of Pain Mapping

Cause of Pain Percentages
sacro-iliac joint 6%
lumbar nerve root 20%
facet joint 24%
combined lumbar nerve root and facet disease 24%
internal disc disorder 7%
combined facet and sacro-iliac joint 4%
lumbar sympathetic dystrophy 2%
Pain mapping failed to diagnose cause 13%

Considering the difficult nature of this particular group of patients, the spinal pain mapping provided an extremely useful functional tool to the diagnosis of lower back pain in 87% of the patients in the study.