There is quite a bit of information we gather before recommending a course of treatment. West Michigan Pain’s Dr. Roman Zolotoy shares what people can expect from our team of pain specialists during their patient consultation.

“When patients come in with any type of pain, the first thing that we do is work through the pain assessment,” says Dr. Zolotoy. “The first portion of that is what we call gathering subjective data. This is information that our patients will tell us about what’s going on with their pain.”


Typical Questions:

  • Onset of pain
  • When did the pain start?
  • Where is the pain?
  • How long has the pain been going on for?
  • What does it feel like?
  • What causes the pain to become worse?
  • Is there anything that makes it better?
  • Does the pain seem to travel anywhere else in the body? 
  • Is there a certain time that the pain comes on and how severe is it?

West Michigan Pain practitioners then move into the second portion of the pain assessment which is what we call the objective data. This is information that the practitioner can gather during assessment. 

  • What’s the blood pressure and pulse look like? These will usually be
  • elevated when we have pain.
  • The physical assessment – If I’m looking at the spine is the skin intact? 
  • Are there any obvious deformities? 
  • Are there any areas of the spine that might indicate trauma.

“After this portion of imaging becomes really important,” says Dr. Zolotoy.  “MRIs, X-rays, and CAT scans can help further determine the cause of the pain.”

Once specialists at West Michigan Pain determine what is causing the pain, then they move on to treatment. Our specialists have access to a number of modalities, from Spinal Cord Stimulation, to Radiofrequency Ablation, Injections and more.

“There’s a stigma in society about chronic pain, whether it be fibromyalgia or any of the other types of pain that are there,” says Dr. Zolotoy. “It’s important for patients to reach out when they have pain so that they can live the best lives possible for themselves.”