When you are in pain, you want relief. However, it is still important to do your research and find the most appropriate pain relief options for your situation. Here at the Spine Institute Northwest we offer many different medications, therapies and treatments to relieve and reduce back pain. One of these is called the selective nerve root block.
What is a Selective Nerve Root Block?
A selective nerve root block is a spinal injection. Some doctors may call this treatment a facet block since the injection will be placed in an area known as the facet joint. It is often used to treat lower back and leg pain, but that isn’t its only purpose. Its primary use is to find and diagnose the source of nerve root pain. This will allow your doctor to better treat your pain and to find the therapies that will be most effective.
A selective nerve root block procedure can easily be completed in a couple of hours from the comfort of our offices. The patient will lie on their stomach while a numbing and/or cleaning solution is applied to the patient’s skin. The doctor will use a special fluoroscope, an imagining x-ray tool that will allow the doctor to see exactly where the injection should be placed, to place the injection needle. Then the doctor will inject medication into the site, usually a combination of a painkiller and a steroid. The entire procedure will probably take less than an hour.
How Does a Selective Nerve Block Help Find Nerve Pain Location?
Once a nerve block procedure is completed your doctor will typically ask if your pain has subsided. If you notice a reduction in pain, the doctor can assume that the injection site is the location of your nerve pain. Imaging can find nerve pain in some instances, but this procedure tends to be more effective, especially in cases where imaging results are not clear.
How Can I Prepare for This Procedure?
A selective nerve root block is a relatively simple procedure and can be performed in our offices. You won’t be able to drive home after, so arrange for a ride before coming in. Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to put on and take off. We also recommend that you avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Your doctor will give you more specific information before and after your procedure.
Finding nerve pain is the first step to being able to treat it. The selective nerve block procedure here at Spine Institute Northwest is an effective tool for finding and diagnosing the specific site of nerve pain. It can also be used to treat lower back and leg pain. If you have any questions about this procedure or wonder if it might be an effective treatment option for you, ask your doctor. To learn more, comment or suggest topics of interest to you, click here.