How spinal selective nerve root block injections are used

Selective nerve root block injections are commonly administered to patients experiencing pain resulting from a compressed spinal nerve root. During this procedure, which generally only takes a few minutes, the physician injects a local anesthetic into the nerve at issue, at the point where the nerve passes through the patient’s vertebrae. The injection essentially blocks the pain signals being transmitted through the affected nerve.

Overview of selective nerve root block injections

Physicians employ selective nerve root block injections for many reasons, including:

  • Diagnosis. If a physician needs to diagnose the source of a patient’s pain, he or she may administer a nerve block injection containing an anesthetic known to provide pain relief for a certain amount of time. If the pain goes away, the physician can be confident that the compressed nerve has been identified. In cases where a patient is considering more involved treatment, a physician may use a nerve block injection to predict whether surgery would be an effective option.
  • Treatment. A physician may use a nerve block injection that involves a corticosteroid to help manage a patient’s pain, in some cases providing patients with pain relief sufficient to pursue a course of more intense physical therapy. Although one SNRB injection of this type may be able to provide sufficient results, other patients require multiple injections before they begin to experience relief of their symptoms.

Selective nerve root block injections are commonly used for the cervical (upper), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) areas of the spine, depending on the type of pain that a patient is experiencing. Although the recommended frequency of injections will vary depending on each patient’s unique condition, SNRB injections can generally be administered three to six times over the course of a year.

The Relief Confirmation Test at Laser Spine Institute

Laser Spine Institute uses selective nerve root blocks as part of the evaluation and diagnostic process for patients who come into our state-of-the-art facilities as candidates for our minimally invasive spine surgery. We also offer a diagnostic selective nerve root block as a Relief Confirmation Test for potential patients who have exhausted conservative treatments and want to know if one of our procedures can offer lasting relief. While there is no way to guarantee the outcome of a procedure, this test can help you temporarily experience the benefits of minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. To learn more about the Relief Confirmation Test and our procedures, contact our caring and dedicated team today.

We are happy to offer a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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