Discography: The Solution to Chronic Back Pain You May Not Know About

You might not give much thought to the discs in your spine -- until one of them acts up and causes you pain. The problem is that it’s not always easy to identify exactly which disc is the culprit, which makes treatment a little tricky.

Dr. Jason Chiu at The Painless Center specializes in a technique that goes beyond traditional tests and gets to the bottom of your back pain — discography. If other procedures have failed to pinpoint the source of your pain, a discogram may be your best bet. 

With Dr. Chiu’s expertise and two locations in Fort Lee and Carlstadt, New Jersey, figuring out your back pain is finally within your reach. 

Understanding why your lower back hurts

Your discs are important to the health of your back. Discs are the donut-shaped, gel-filled cushions between the bony vertebrae in your spine. When they get damaged, they lose their protective shock absorbency and may cause you pain. 

Dics can deteriorate over time as you age, or they may become damaged due to an impact injury. Either way, finding out exactly which disc is the source of your pain is difficult, even with X-rays and MRIs. 

The reason is that a visual assessment of your discs can be deceptive. You may have a disc that’s clearly bulging or degenerated, but it really isn’t the source of your pain. On the other hand, you can have a disc that looks fine but is actually the culprit for your pain. 

Discography singles out the disc that’s giving you trouble.

How does discography find the problem disc?

Discography is different from other diagnostic tests in that its main goal is to cause you pain. More precisely, its aim is to recreate a situation where your disc causes you pain. It’s called a provocative test, because it provokes your pain. 

This might sound scary, but it’s the best way to identify which disc needs treatment. 

The process starts with Dr. Chiu injecting a contrast dye into the discs in your lower back. Your physical response to the injection is key to understanding the source of your pain. Dr. Chiu then uses an X-ray or CT scan to get a full picture of what’s happening in your spine.

What can a discogram reveal?

Once Dr. Chiu evaluates your discography tests, he can determine how best to treat you and get rid of your back pain. In addition to identifying your pain source, the discogram lets him know exactly what’s wrong with your disc. For example, the disc may have small tears that did not show up on other diagnostic tests. 

With this detailed information, Dr. Chiu can make an accurate assessment of your disc health and recommend the most effective treatment.

If you have unexplained chronic lower back pain, it may be caused by one of your discs. Don’t worry -- relief is within your reach. Call our office today or use the Book Online button to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chiu right away. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Don't Let Fibromyalgia Ruin Your Life

Everything hurts. You’re extremely tired. When you wake in the morning, you feel stiff and weighed down with fatigue. Sometimes memory lets you down. Sound familiar? We know it isn’t imagined pain, and there are ways to cope with fibromyalgia.

Can IV Therapy Help My Migraine?

You know what it’s like to have a migraine. A pounding, jagged pain in the side of your temple or around your eye, possibly even reaching down the side of your face into your teeth - yep, it’s another migraine. Could IV therapy help?

Conditions That Can Benefit from Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine harnesses your body’s natural healing system to repair, regrow, and replace impaired tissues and organs. A safe and drug-free alternative to surgery, regenerative medicine can treat a variety of orthopedic conditions.

Myths and Facts About Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) describes acute or chronic pain that remains after an injury has healed. Though it affects 200,000 Americans every year, it's still misunderstood. Here we share some of the top facts and myths about CRPS.

Understanding the Different Types of Headaches

Everyone has experienced a headache in their lifetime. Ranging in severity and symptoms, all headaches are not equal or treated the same. Learn more about some of the most common types of headaches and how you can treat them.