In a provocative stimulation, a physician will attempt to recreate the pain to be treated, in order to identify the exact source of the pain. The procedure is performed using an endoscope, which allows the physician to see exactly where the disc pressure, tears and/or degeneration have occurred. The provocative stimulation is typically administered by inserting a contrast fluid into the suspected discs, in order to create pressure. If the pressure reproduces the pain in question, it is an indicator that treatment of that area will help to relieve pain.
In some cases, fluid will be injected into nearby discs to determine whether they are also creating any of the pain that the patient has been feeling. As an alternative, the physician may inject a local anesthetic; if pain is reduced, then this also indicates that treatment of the area will assist in relieving pain.
Your physician will determine whether this procedure is appropriate for your specific case. To learn more, contact North American Spine at 877-474-2225.