A pinched, compressed, and inflamed nerve in your spine can cause a great amount of pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness along the path of the nerve. A nerve can become compromised for many reasons including a bulging disc, bone spur, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and spin misalignment. Any of these conditions or injuries can cause a disc to become damaged and lead to compression and inflammation of a nearby nerve. Depending on which nerve is affected, a person can feel the symptoms throughout various parts of the body.
What is Selective Nerve Block?
KureSmart Pain Management offers a treatment called a selective nerve block to diagnose and treat the affected nerves that is causing the severe pain. A selective nerve root block is an injection of steroids and a local anesthetic along a specific nerve root. As the name indicates, a selective nerve block, targets specific nerves, rather than an entire area. Your pain management specialist will insert a needle in the foramen (a small hole in the spine where the nerves come out) alongside the nerve root and inject the medication.
What is Selective Nerve Block Used for?
A selective nerve block is used to relieve severe pain in the spine. Selective nerve blocks can also be used to diagnose a back problem and determine if a nerve root is the source of pain. The injection delivers a therapeutic combination of steroids and anesthetic to temporarily reduce inflammation and reduce pain.
When used to diagnose a condition, a smaller dose of medication is injected into the painful nerve(s). If pain is relieved, then the doctor can confirm a diagnosis and proceed with a treatment plan.
The selective nerve block procedure is also effective for relieving arm or leg pain and is generally not used for midline back pain.
About the Procedure
This actual injection itself will only take a few minutes to complete but you should plan to be at our office for at least an hour. You will need time to fill out pre-operative papers, get set up in a treatment room and be observed after wards.
While lying on your stomach, we will prepare you for the injection by thoroughly cleaning the skin over the injection site and use a local anesthetic to numb the area. Fluoroscopy may be used to help your pain management doctor see where the medication goes. We may use a contrast “dye” to the medication to help get a better image. The medication combo will be injected near the ganglion to numb the targeted nerves. The patient may feel mild pain while the medication is being injected. The block will relieve your symptoms for a while. While pain relief is temporary, the length of time is dependent on the patient’s specific condition and symptoms.
After the procedure, your arms or legs may feel slightly heavy or numb and you should feel less pain. This is from the anesthetic and will wear off in about an hour. You should take it easy for a few days following the procedure and only perform activities that you are comfortable with.
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