In this exam, you will be testing your patient’s pain tolerance and sensitivity. As such, it is important to communicate clearly and concisely with them, letting them feel comfortable, and, most importantly, relaxed.

  • Provide your patient with a backless exam gown.
  • Be sure to expose the entire area that you plan to scan. Identify the painful spinal segments to be tested, noting the spinal region.
  • Choose a painless segment for comparison testing in the same spinal region.
  • Multiple regions can be tested in one examination.
  • The neck should be exposed with hair tied back. Tip: Provide a disposable hair elastic or hair clip if needed.
  • Have the patient in a calm resting state for the examination.
  • Advise them that an instrument will be pressed onto a point on the spine and they are to alert the examiner immediately when the pressure becomes painful. They are not meant to try and prove their ability to sustain pain. They are to honestly alert the examiner when “the pressure hurts” and to command the examiner to “stop”.
  • The results of the reported painful segment is compared to the tolerance level of the non-painful region.

As well, the test results can be used to quantify improvements over time and multiple examination sessions.