A selective nerve root block is a slightly surgical procedure that is done to diagnose and treat cervical and lumbar pain and related pain suffering areas. The procedure includes injecting local anesthesia straight into the expected problematic nerve root of the spinal column to help recognize the cause of a patient’s pain also it helps to relieve pain for the shorter period
Symptoms of an irritated nerve root
The spinal pain happens when any of the spinal nerve becomes irritated, inflamed or compressed. The pain may spread in the upper and lower areas depending on the location of the nerves
If a nerve is damaged in the cervical region, the pain and other symptoms will be felt in the neck, shoulder and arms, whereas the nerve irritation in the lower spine causes numbness, tingling in the lower back, hips, buttocks and legs
Sometimes it becomes difficult for a physician to identify the exact nerve causing pain, at times MRI may not indicate the problematic nerve. In such condition a selective nerve root block is recommended to restrict the nerve root that is the source of pain
How a selective nerve root block is performed
A selective nerve block involves injecting a local anesthetic formulated with Corticosteroid to the targeted nerve root. The local anesthesia numbs the nerve sensation, while the steroids help in decreasing inflammation and the pain arising
The selective nerve root blocks are much the same as the epidural injections, however the medications are administered in the pain causing nerve root and not in the epidural space. The selective nerve root block results may vary from person to person as some nerve roots are difficult to reach and administer
What to expect after the procedure?
Many patients undergoing selective nerve root block can resume their routinely activities following the procedure. Some patients may report a sudden relief from the symptoms that is because of the numbness. The pain may reappear until the steroid shots initiate its effects. The relief of pain symptoms from a selective nerve root block depends on the levels of your pain and lasts from several days to several months
What will happen following the procedure?
Soon after a selective nerve root block, patients may experience incremental pain at the site of injection, pain while movement, lightheadedness, nausea, headache and vomiting all these symptoms will last in a day
Risks and complications
Risks related to selective nerve root block are very rare, including, infection, bleeding and allergic reactions with the medications applied during the procedure. Very rare and serious complications include, nerve damage and paralysis