Few people don’t experience back pain in their life at some point. Sadly, sometimes it turns out to be something serious; sometimes people have to go through tests to find out what is wrong with them.

Usually pain comes from muscle pulls and strains.

When it is more severe, sometimes a test called a myelogram is required.

What is a myelogram?

A myelogram is a test that visualizes your spinal canal. The test is performed by a medical doctor called a radiologist who deals with X-Rays, sound waves and magnetic fields. There is a “contrast material” that is injected into your spine so the pictures can be taken.

What happens during a myelogram?

A technologist will explain the procedure and have you change into a patient gown and moved to the X-Ray room.

After your blood pressure and pulse have been recorded, you will be given two injections either in the arm or buttocks. One shot prevents lightheadedness and the other prevents muscle spasms.

Then you will put on your stomach. Your back will be cleansed with antiseptic soap and alcohol.

The doctor will then inject you with a “numbing medication” to minimize the pain of the injections.

After that he will inject the spinal needle and remove a sample of spinal fluid. Then he will inject dye so that the X-Ray and imaging can be done.

There is a difference in procedures for various parts of the back.

If you are having a myelogram for your cervical or thoracic (mid to upper) spine then after you have received the myelogram you will be taken for the CT and then to hospital room where once again your blood pressure ands pulse will be checked. You will be kept for from 2-4 hours before being released.

If you are having a lumbar or low-back myelogram then you must wait 3-4 hours before even getting your CT.

While all myelograms only take about 1 ┬╜ hours, it is a good idea to plan anywhere from 4-8 hours four the entire procedure.

How do I prepare for my exam?

You may have liquids but may not have solid fluids; you may take prescribed medications; bring a list of medications and bring copies of previous X-Rays and medical studies.

Following the exam you will need to have someone take you home and you will need to take it easy for about 24 hours.

One thing that is important to know is that you will get two bills, one from the hospital and one from the radiologist.

Myelograms can be painful at times; however, severe back pain needs to be checked out when you consider some of the major illnesses that are associated with it. You may also consider the top 3 spine surgery in Austin in providing treatment for your back pain. They are experienced and licensed in performing such surgery.


Chris Harrison is a content writer and editor from New Caledonia. He is currently managing Oneunionone which is based in North Carolino. Before founding the website, he was a full time editor in New York USA.