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UR Medicine / Neurosurgery / Translational Pain Research / Treadmill Testing Platform

Treadmill Testing Platform

A variety of advanced diagnostic tools are used to visualize the changes in your spine, such as CT scans, MRIs, and myelograms. However, the narrowing of the spinal canal shown in a picture of the bones and nerves may not be the cause of your pain. For this reason, it is important that we use a test that stimulates the activities under which you normally experience pain. The test allows us to accurately measure how much your pain is affecting your mobility. It also allows us to determine how treatment is affecting your function in daily activities. Treadmill testing has been shown to be a safe and easy method by which we can track your progress.

What to Expect

  • Prior to the test, you will be asked to fill out questionnaires about your symptoms.
  • A member of our team will set up the treadmill at 1.2 mph, and 0 degree incline, and ask you to begin walking in an upright posture without using the handrails.
  • You will be asked to rate your pain on a scale of 0-10, before you begin walking, and again after cued time points.
  • A team member will record your responses, the duration and distance you walk, and when your symptoms first appear.
  • If you are unable to walk the full 15 minutes, you may stop and a team member will record the time and distance you walked.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the visit take?
The total visit time is approximately 30 minutes.
What should I wear?
Wear clothes and shoes that will be comfortable to walk in for 15 minutes.
How far will I walk?
You will walk a maximum of 15 minutes, or as long as you can walk, which ever comes first.
How fast will I walk?
You will be walking at 1.2 mph, a pace that most people consider leisurely or strolling.
Will it be painful?
The test is designed to reproduce the symptoms you have in everyday life. The discomfort you experience under normal conditions when walking will most likely be felt during the test.
What questions will I be asked?
You will be asked at cued time points to rate your pain on a numeric scale of 0-10, where 0 is no pain and 10 is the most severe pain you can imagine.