Back pain, particularly chronic lower back pain, is one of the most common ailments reported by individuals in the United States. Unlike acute back pain, which is often caused by direct trauma or injury, chronic back pain is typically the result of an underlying condition affecting the musculoskeletal system. This article will take a closer look at the ways a discography can help diagnose the cause of your back pain.
Uses and Indications
A discography is a diagnostic procedure designed to identify whether an individual’s back pain is the result of a disorder affecting their intervertebral discs—the soft, fluid-filled discs that separate the vertebral bones of the spine. While MRI’s or magnetic resonance imaging scans are often used to determine the presence of disc abnormalities, these types of tests cannot be used to determine whether or not the disc itself is causing pain. Discography, on the other hand, can determine if your back pain is the direct result of a torn, bulging, or herniated spinal disc.
How It Works
After creating a digital image of your spinal discs using radiography imaging technology, your back specialist will clean the injection site using a topical anesthetic. While you are lying on your side, your back specialist will inject a small amount of fluid into the spinal discs and observe the fluid levels within the disc using a fluoroscope. Your doctor will then measure the pressure recorded in the disc at the time of the injection and determine how much fluid the disc can hold and whether the injection reproduces your pain.
In addition to diagnosing the source of your back pain, discography procedures may also be used to treat the pain through carefully guided needle position, proper solutions, and the deposition of the solutions at precise locations.
The best way to determine whether undergoing a discography is right for you is to consult an experienced spine specialist. Contact the providers with SpineOne in Denver at (888) 721-0459 for more information about our services.