Experiencing pain in your back, legs, or arms significantly impacts your daily life. We offer several powerful treatments, including selective nerve root blocks, to help alleviate your chronic pain.
At OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we know how disruptive this can be. Our goal is to help you manage your chronic pain effectively with alternative and nonsurgical treatments.
If compressed and irritated nerves are causing chronic pain in your spine, selective nerve root blocks may be an effective option for you.
WHAT IS A SELECTIVE NERVE ROOT BLOCK?
You have nerves running all along your spine. Each one of these nerves branches off from its nerve root. These nerve roots are made up of bundles of fibers situated at the spinal column that then extends to other parts of your body. Their job is to send sensation and motor signals to your brain.
But when nerve roots become irritated or pinched, they can be very painful. This type of nerve compression can happen because of degeneration or damage in the spine, such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis. Depending on which nerve is affected, this can cause pain in your back, neck, arms, or legs.
A selective nerve root block is an injection into the precise area of your spine where the nerve root is causing pain. Medicine containing an anesthetic and a steroid is injected near the painful nerve root. This “blocks” the nerve root from relaying pain signals to your brain.
WHAT DO SELECTIVE NERVE ROOT BLOCKS TREAT?
Selective nerve root blocks may relieve pain caused by:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal arthritis
- Bone spurs in the spine
- Spinal stenosis
Any condition that compresses the spinal nerves could lead to chronic pain. If you experience radiating pain, tingling, or numbness in your back, neck, legs, or arms, nerve blocks may help.
Nerve root blocks can also help diagnose the source and location of the pain. If a block is performed on a specific root and proves effective, your doctor can verify the pain-causing nerve. Your doctor will then use this information to direct your pain management treatment plan.
HOW LONG DO SELECTIVE NERVE ROOT BLOCKS LAST?
After a selective nerve root block, you should feel pain relief within a few days. How long the block will last depends on the person, but many patients feel the results for several months. Other healing therapies, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care, can complement nerve root blocks to extend and increase your pain relief.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR VISIT
The selective nerve root block procedure is performed in our offices and is an outpatient appointment. To keep you feeling comfortable and relaxed, we may give you a light sedative medication, and you’ll need to have someone drive you home.
When you come in for your visit, you’ll change into a gown and lie on a treatment table. We’ll clean the area to be treated and give you a local anesthetic at the injection spot.
Using x-ray or ultrasound guidance for precision, your doctor will insert a needle into the nerve root area, then inject the pain-blocking medication.
You may feel momentary pressure during the injection, but it’s quite brief. After the procedure, we’ll monitor you for a short time before you go home.
It’s best to avoid strenuous exercise for the first day or so, and then you can resume normal activities after that.
We’ll follow up with you to discuss how effective the procedure was and, depending on your level of pain relief, recommend further treatment based on your results.
If you’re living with chronic pain, we’re here to help. Our priority is helping you achieve as much relief as possible to get back to living the life you want.
Schedule a consultation with one of our caring pain-management specialists today to see if selective nerve root blocks are the right option for you.