Nerve root blocks are a pain management procedure that aims to reduce chronic pain caused by the irritation or swelling of the nerve roots in the spine. This procedure involves the injection of medication into the specific nerve root responsible for lumbar pain. By targeting the source of pain, nerve root blocks reduce pain and stiffness and contribute to overall well-being.
Nerve irritation or inflammation can lead to debilitating pain that could potentially impact your day-to-day activities. This can be caused due to numerous conditions, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and sciatica.
Nerve root blocks aim to block pain signals and provide long-lasting relief from the symptoms of these conditions.
Nerve root blocks are one of the many cutting-edge pain management procedures available at Spinal Diagnostics. We aim to alleviate pain and improve the overall well-being of all our patients.
Our experienced team of professionals offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to multiple back and neck pain-related conditions.
Compared to regular surgical procedures, nerve root blocks offer multiple benefits, including the following:
- Targeted pain relief: Nerve root blocks involve the injection of medication by specifically targeting the nerve roots causing pain.
- Reduction of inflammation in the affected area: Swelling in the lumbar area often leads to nerve compression and pain. Nerve root blocks help to reduce this and immediately reduce pain.
- Mobility restoration: Chronic pain can significantly hinder daily activities. By reducing pain and stiffness, your range of mobility is restored, allowing you to perform daily activities.
Patients with nerve compression conditions are often ideal candidates for the nerve root block procedure. These may include:
- Herniated disc: A herniated disc occurs when an intervertebral disc becomes damaged or displaced, leading to nerve irritation and lumbar pain.
- Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis occurs when there is increased pressure on the spinal nerves due to the narrowed spaces between the spine.
- Sciatica: This condition happens when the nerves in the lower back area extending into the legs become irritated or damaged.
Note that if you have undergone other conservative treatments within the last 12 months, or you have any medical condition that may interfere with the optimal results of the procedure, your doctor may suggest other alternatives for your case.
Before the Procedure
Before your nerve root block procedure, you must provide your doctor with relevant information regarding your medical history, including any medications you may be taking, any allergies, or medical conditions. This helps to ensure safety and optimal recovery during the whole process.
We recommend that you arrange for transportation beforehand with a family member or friend since driving right after the procedure is not advised.
During the Procedure
Here is a detailed description of the nerve root block procedure:
- Administration of local anesthesia: To ensure your comfort during the procedure, a local anesthetic will be applied to numb the skin and underlying tissues near the injection site. This helps minimize any discomfort you may feel during the procedure.
- Image-guided needle placement: Using X-ray guidance, your doctor will carefully insert a thin needle near the targeted nerve root.
- Injection of medication: Once the needle is correctly placed, local anesthetic and corticosteroid medication will be injected near the nerve root, which is causing pain.
The procedure lasts 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of nerve roots targeted and your specific case.
After the injection, you may be briefly observed to ensure no immediate complications or adverse reactions develop. Patients are usually allowed to go home on the same day.
It is normal to feel soreness and discomfort throughout the following days of the procedure. If you notice any severe or persistent symptoms, such as worsening pain, swelling, or signs of infection, it's important to contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.
In most cases, you will be able to return to your regular activities within a matter of days. Follow your doctor's instructions, including avoiding strenuous activities, applying heat or cold at the injection site, and taking any prescribed non-opioid medication.