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Selective nerve root block for diagnosis and back pain management


A selective nerve root block is a slightest invasive procedure that is done for the diagnosis and treatment of cervical pain, thoracic and the lumbar pain and other pain associated with the spine

The procedure involves injecting a local anesthesia directly into a certain targeted nerve of the vertebral column to help indicate the source of patient’s pain causes

When a spinal nerve root become inflamed or pinched it can cause back pain, additionally the, symptom might be felt in the upper or the lower area of the spinal cord

For instance;

  • Cervical spine nerve inflammation may bring pain, numbness and weakness in the neck shoulder and arms
  • Where as the thoracic nerve pinching can cause inflammation in the upper back and the lower back along with the chest wall and the ribs
  • The lumbar nerve root can cause pain and weakness in the lower back, hips, buttock and the legs
  • In some cases the source of patient’s pain cannot be identified even the physical examination and imaging may not be as helpful to identify which nerve is causing pain

The purpose of selective nerve root block is to disengage the nerve root that is the cause of discomfort to the patient, moreover the selective nerve root serves as the remedy to comfort various painful conditions

The Selective nerve root block is carried by injecting a local anesthetic along with steroids in the targeted nerve root. The local anesthetic numbs the nerve and the steroid helps to reduce swelling and discomfort, the medications are specifically directed at the nerve root.

The results of selective nerve root block may vary case to case as some nerve roots are very complex to treat due to their location and surrounding conditions

Conditions that are treated with selective nerve root blocks

The conditions that are commonly well treated with selective nerve root blocks include

  • Cervical pain
  • Lumbar nerve root pain
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Shrinking of the spinal canal
  • Bulging intervertebral disc
  • Herniated disc
  • Arthritis


A selective nerve root block is less invasive therapy that can potentially diagnose and treat many symptoms that result from spinal nerve root inflammation. These procedures are considered safe and beneficial therapy for several chronic pain conditions

The desired results can be observed within days to months, the selective nerve root therapy can be repeated if required