BACK PAIN DIAGNOSIS — DISCOGRAM AND OTHER EXAMINATIONS
When treating back and neck pain, the first and most important step is to correctly diagnose the cause of the pain. Without a solid understanding of the cause, the effectiveness of future treatments becomes uncertain. This is why our team of surgeons, interventional pain management specialists, neurologists, and other healthcare professionals perform the very latest diagnostic tests to determine, as precisely as possible, the root source of your back and neck pain. At our state-of-the-art offices in Central Florida, discogram, medial branch block, and other tests are performed with the utmost care and precision.
DISCOGRAM (CERVICAL, THORACIC, LUMBAR)
In the event of a disc condition, a discogram allows the spine care professionals at our offices in Melbourne and Titusville to precisely determine which disc or discs are causing pain. A discogram is frequently performed prior to Deuk Laser Disc Repair™ and other surgical procedures. The test involves an X-ray examination of the intervertebral discs. In order to observe disc herniations or other structural changes that have taken place in a disc, a dye is injected that allows the physician to view the disc tissue's exact placement. By viewing disc structure in this way while simultaneously reproducing back pain, our staff can determine which specific disc or discs are causing pain. In doing so, we are able to precisely apply future treatments.
MEDIAL BRANCH BLOCK
A medial branch block is an injection that temporally interrupts pain signals carried by the medial branch nerves. These nerves carry signals away from the facet joint of the spine. If pain is relieved for a predictable period of time after the medial branch block injection is applied, the facet joint can be diagnosed as the cause of pain. If this is determined to be the case, longer-term pain management techniques can be recommended.
The stellate ganglion test involves a diagnostic injection. The stellate ganglion injection blocks signals from the sympathetic ganglion — cell bodies that carry messages from the sympathetic neurons within the spine to those outside the spine. If pain is relieved when sympathetic ganglion signals are blocked, pain likely is being caused by damage within the sympathetic nerve chain. Depending on each person's unique circumstances, a peripheral nerve block or other treatments may provide effective pain management over the long term.
An electromyography is a test to measure muscle response to neurons. This helps to determine whether symptoms such as numbness or tingling are caused by irregularities within the muscle or the nerve supply.
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