Relieve pain with Universal Care Specialty Center.
A nerve root block is an anesthesiology procedure in which a doctor injects a medication that prevents a nerve from transmitting pain signals to your brain.
This procedure can be done in an outpatient surgical center, and you will be monitored by our doctors throughout the procedure.
The nerve root block only takes a few minutes to perform. Once the pain injection is completed, the medication’s effects will be noticeable within one minute. The length of the pain relief will depend on the type of medication used by the doctor and the amount of the medication that is used.
How a Nerve Root Block is Performed
In order to perform a nerve block, you will have an x-ray so that your doctor can see where to place the injection. Your x-ray may be done with fluoroscopy, which is a fluorescent dye delivered through an intravenous line. This makes it easier for the doctor to correctly place the pain medication in the nerve. Your skin will be cleansed, and you will receive a local anesthetic. The injection is placed during the x-ray so that our doctor can see in real time where the tip of the needle is. You may also receive a steroid with the pain relieving medicine. The steroid helps to reduce inflammation, which can further increase your level of pain relief.
What a Nerve Root Block is Used For
A nerve root block is used to control acute pain. A doctor may perform a nerve root block if you experience a serious injury from a slip and fall or a car accident. In some cases, a nerve root block can be done as a diagnostic procedure to see if surgery would be beneficial. Nerve root blocks are also used for treating chronic issues such as phantom limb pain after an amputation.
Candidates for a Nerve Root Block
You may need to have a nerve root block if other methods of relief for lower back or leg pain have not been effective for you. Your doctor may also recommend that you have a nerve root block if you have gone through other diagnostic procedures that have not determined the source of your intense acute or chronic pain. If you have had a far lateral disc herniation, a doctor may perform a nerve root block to treat the condition.
The Benefits of Having a Nerve Root Block
With a nerve root block, you may experience a nearly instantaneous relief of pain. The effects of a nerve root block can be effective for several days to several weeks. This can give the steroid enough time to reduce swelling and pressure on the affected nerve. By the time the anesthetic medication wears off, the swelling could be gone, resulting in an elimination of your lower back pain.