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Selective nerve root blocks (SNRB) are injections delivered to nerves in the spine, the spinal section that supports the innervations to the arms and legs. These injections deliver numbing and steroid medications directly to the nerves. They can be used to treat pain from several conditions in which nerves become pinched, including herniated discs, bulging discs, bone spurs, radiculopathy and spinal stenosis. Selective nerve blocks work by eliminating the pain signals sent when nerve roots become compressed and inflamed.
Selective nerve blocks can be used as a therapeutic block, a diagnostic block or both. The exact medications used are modified, depending on the ultimate goal of the block. When used as a therapeutic nerve block, the goal is to eliminate pain and enable you to begin physical therapy.
As a diagnostic tool, selective nerve blocks can help your specialist at Kayal Pain & Spine Center determine whether a more permanent pain reliever would be beneficial. In these circumstances, immediate reduced pain from the block is a reliable indicator that a long-term solution is in your best interest.
What to expect before, during and after selective nerve blocks
Selective nerve blocks are a relatively simple outpatient procedure. You will need to stop taking any blood-thinning or anti-platelet medications several days before the procedure, but little additional preparation is required on your part if only a local anesthetic is used. In some instances, IV sedation may be used instead of local anesthetic, in which case you will need to stop eating and drinking six hours before the procedure and arrange for someone to drive you home.
You will feel the effects of the local anesthetic for a few hours after receiving the selective nerve block, which may make your arms and legs feel numb or heavy. Many patients also feel temporary relief from their pain that usually returns within a few hours. If steroids are used as part of a therapeutic block, the pain relief can sometimes last for several weeks.
Selective nerve root blocks are a straightforward procedure and you can typically return to work the same day. Of course, you should always take it easy after any medical procedure and only perform the activities that feel comfortable to you. If you feel pain at the injection site, you should ice the treatment area as a form of temporary relief. If the pain persist, contact Kayal Pain & Spine Center for instructions.
Discover the advantages
Selective nerve blocks help surgeons at Kayal Pain & Spine Center better evaluate the source of your pain and confirm that it is a compressed and inflamed nerve causing it. They also help determine which nerves are in distress. With this information in hand, Kayal Pain & Spine Center’s elite team can develop a long-term pain reduction strategy that is right for you and your specific condition.
For many patients, selective nerve blocks also help reduce pain. SNRB is a standard therapy for lateral disc herniation and may help relieve the symptoms of other spinal disorders, too. The reduction in pain allows some patients to resume their day-to-day activities and begin physical therapy to address the condition causing the pain.