Tests & Screenings

If you’re suffering from musculoskeletal or spinal pain, you’ll find relief at Westlake Hospital’s Pain Management Center at River Forest. Our doctors and specialists offer a wide range of tests and screenings that will help determine the cause of your pain and get you on the road to recovery. Read about common diagnostic tests and screenings below.


An arthrogram is an X-ray to view bone structures following an injection of a contrast fluid into a joint area. When the fluid leaks into an area that it doesn’t belong, disease or injury may be considered, as a leak would provide evidence of a tear, opening or blockage.

Bone Density Study

A bone density study helps diagnose osteoporosis (bone thinning). Scans of your lower back, hip, or forearm are taken to measure the amount of calcium (density) in your bones. Calcium is the mineral that makes up your bones.

Bone Scan

A bone scan is an imaging test that uses a special camera to form images of your bones. It’s used to diagnose bone problems, such as fractures, cancer, or infections, and joint problems such as arthritis. It is also used to check joint replacements.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

In a CT scan, also called a CAT scan, a trained technologist positions the patient on the CT examination table. The table moves through the scanner while X-rays take highly detailed images of the body.


A discogram is a test in which contrast dye is injected into a disk in the spine. Contrast dye is a type of fluid that shows up on X-ray, enabling a radiologist see if the disk is normal or not. The test may help find which disk is causing your back or leg pain. The test is often done when certain treatments for pain, such as surgery, are being considered.

Electrocardiogram & Echocardiogram

In an electrocardiogram and an echocardiogram (EKG or ECG), a nurse or medical technician places stickers (called leads or electrodes) with wires connected to them on the patient’s chest. These leads collect information about the heart’s electrical activity, which the doctor then interprets.

Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

EMG and NCS are tests that measure muscle and nerve function. In most cases, both tests are performed. NCS is most often done first. NCS checks how quickly impulses travel between nerves. EMG assesses muscle function.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses magnetic fields, not X-rays, to produce detailed images of the body. The patient lies inside a narrow tube on a platform specially designed for the procedure while a doctor or trained technician initiates the scan.

Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test

NCV, also called a nerve conduction study, is a measurement of the speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through a nerve. NCV can determine nerve damage and destruction.


In an ultrasound, a doctor or ultrasound technologist, called a sonographer, places a transducer, which resembles a microphone, on the patient’s body. The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves into the body and then listens for the returning echoes to create images that appear on a console screen.

Contact Us

Westlake Hospital’s Pain Management Center at River Forest is located at 7411 Lake Street, Suite L180, in River Forest. To learn more or make an appointment, call (708) 938-7111.