Spinal disc imaging – also called discography or discogram – is a method of finding painful abnormalities in spinal discs. This is a diagnostic procedure physicians use if a patient’s back pain hasn’t improved with previous treatment (it is not a procedure that alleviates pain).
While other diagnostic tools can determine whether discs are abnormal, disc imaging allows physicians to find out whether those abnormalities are causing pain. For chronic back pain patients, this procedure may be the first step in finding a pain-relief solution.
Before this procedure, the physician administers a medication to help the patient relax, then numbs the back along the injection sites. Discs are injected with an ink that the physician can see with a fluoroscope (a machine that’s similar to an X-ray). If the ink expands throughout a disc, the disc is damaged. Patients may feel pressure or pain if the ink expands.
After the procedure, patients will remain under observation for up to an hour and can return home the same day, but should not drive. A temporary increase in back pain that lasts for a few hours or a few days is normal, as is soreness at the injection sites.
Center for Pain Management is a full-service pain clinic offering physician appointments, medication management, physical therapy, and psychological counseling. But before we can effectively treat your pain, we need an accurate diagnosis. If you have chronic back pain that hasn’t improved with conservative treatment, a disc imaging procedure may help us determine whether damaged discs are causing your pain.
Get help for chronic back pain. Contact us today to schedule your consultation: (317) 706-7246.