The pain of discography

James Neil Weinstein*, William Claverie, Sally Gibson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Lumbar discography is a commonly employed diagnostic tool, but important questions about it remain unresolved. Why is an abnormal discogram painful in one patient and not In another? This study was performed to investigate the changes in Substance P (SP) and Vasoactive-Intestinal Peptide (VIP), found In the dorsal root ganglion, following discography In normal and abnormal canine lumber intervertebral discs. The data from this study suggest that dorsal root ganglion SP and VIP are indirectly affected by manipulations of the intervertebral disc. It may be that various neurochemical changes within the intervertebral disc are expressed by sensitized (injured) annular nociceptors, and in part modulated by the dorsal root ganglion. Therefore, the concommitant pain sometimes associated with an abnormal discogram image may in part be related to the chemical environment within the intervertebral disc and the sensitized state of Its annular nociceptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1344-1348
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1988


  • Discogram
  • Neuropeptides
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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