Discography is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that involves placing needles into the disc.
Generally, patients who undergo discography have not received satisfactory pain relief from non-operative measures such as medication, physical therapy and modified activities. They usually have had back pain for at least 4 to 6 months. Discography is usually used in patients who are being evaluated to determine a specific cause of pain so a new treatment plan (possibly including surgery) can be developed. It is important to realize that discography is controversial because it is not an exact science. As such, it is just one part of the puzzle your physician will use to craft a treatment plan specific to your needs.