When to Talk to Your Doctor About Selective Nerve Root Blocks

Doctor Showing Spine Injection

A Selective nerve root block injection (SNRB) is one of the procedures we use to help our patients get relief from long term back, neck, arm, and leg pain. This targeted treatment delivers relief to the origin of the pain – around the nerve root as it exits the spinal column. An injected corticosteroid reduces the inflammation and pain caused by pressure on the nerve.

SpineOne also uses selective nerve root block procedures as a diagnostic measure; It helps us determine which nerve is irritated by “numbing” the nerve. The steroid will therapeutically reduce the inflammation and pain caused by pressure on the nerve. The effectiveness of the procedure confirms the root source of the pain.

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How Does the Selective Nerve Root Block Procedure Work?

Prior to being given the injection, the patient will either lie face down or face up to leave the neck exposed. Patients are sedated for the procedure but remain awake throughout. The procedure area is then numbed in a specific region of tissue and skin using a local anesthetic, which doctors administer using a small needle.

The physician inserts the needle in the area known as the neural foramen space, through which nerves travel along the spine. To help ensure the needle is properly positioned, physicians inject contrast dye to make irritated nerves more visible.

After the medicine is injected into the foramen space, which usually takes several minutes, the needle is removed and physicians apply a small bandage to the injection area. While some patients will only require a single injection, others may need as many as two or three for sufficient pain relief.

How Long Will I Be in the Hospital?

A selective nerve root block is a minimally-invasive procedure which takes place in our surgery center, so no hospital visit is required. The fluoroscopic guidance and small injection point allow a targeted treatment. These minimally-invasive spine treatments offer alternatives to invasive surgery that are out-patient and effective for pain relief. Our patients are able to go home on the same day as their procedures.

How Long Do the Benefits Last?

Most patients will start feeling the benefits of a selective nerve root block between 3-7 days after the initial injection. The pain relief from the procedure can last for weeks or even months. Depending on how a patient responds to the treatment, our doctors may recommend additional injections. Giving more than three injections per year can put the patient at risk of experiencing certain side effects of cortisone, which may include insomnia, acne, thinning skin, dry skin, mood changes, headaches, and other more serious side effects such as anaphylaxis in more extreme cases.

Choosing a Doctor for Selective Nerve Root Block Consultations

The pain specialists at SpineOne are extensively trained to understand and treat acute and chronic back, neck, and joint pain. A treatment plan at SpineOne is a collaborative process designed to relieve your debilitating pain and provide you with a long-term treatment plan to promote long-term wellness.

SpineOne’s physicians can diagnose back, neck, and joint pain and prescribe treatments that will help you to control your pain and regain your quality of life. Our facility offers exams, imaging, and treatment in one location to save you having to make multiple trips while you’re in pain.

Start by seeing if a same-day appointment is available to discuss a treatment plan.

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