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The discs located in your spine are an integral part of your movements. They also act as shock absorbers. The center of each disc contains a soft, gel-like material. If your discs are bulging, the soft interior presses onto nearby nerves and results in discomfort. Discography is a diagnostic injection that helps your doctor determine the source of your pain and which discs are related.

How it Works

Discography takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes, and x-ray imaging is used in order to help your doctor pinpoint a specific disc.

Typically, discography is performed in the lower two or three areas of your lumbar spine. A needle will be inserted and then laid onto the outer layer of the disc that is being targeted. A second needle will pass through and into the center of the disc. Next, a contrast is injected. X-ray imaging shows the contrast on the screen. If your disc is normal, the contrast will stay in the center. If it is damaged, the contrast will spread through the disc.

Be mindful of any pain or discomfort that you experience during the procedure. This can help your doctor further understand your diagnosis.


A discography may be performed in cases of:

  • Back pain that has lasted for 4 months or longer
  • Back pain that is not improving, even with other treatments
  • Disc degeneration


Pain at the injection site is common, but only temporary. Serious side effects are rare. You will be able to resume your regular activities the next day.

Using the informatio from your discography, your doctor will be able to determine if there are additional injections or other procedures that would work for your pain.

Contact our practice today to schedule your appointment with Allied Pain & Spine Institute.

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