Selective Nerve Root Blocks

It is an injection which is primarily used, to diagnose the specific source of nerve root pain and secondly, for therapeutic relief of low back and/or leg pain. Nerve roots emerge through several holes or foramina. If these foramina are half closed from bulging discs, bone spurs, misalignment of vertebrae, then the nerve root can be pinched. This creates a pain in the nerve root. And this is treated with the help of selective nerve root block.

How is it performed?

Selective Nerve Root Blocks Treatment is done in the following steps:

  • The patient has to lie face down on the x-ray table.
  • Using fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray that provides real time video imaging), the doctor locates a specific spinal nerve root.
  • When the nerve root is located, the doctor introduces a needle through the skin into the area adjacent to the spinal nerve.
  • Medication-steroids are given in order to decrease inflammation and/or local anesthesia to numb the area.


Who are the candidates?

Those who are suffering from herniated disc, sciatica, or swelling and/or irritation are the candidates for Selective Nerve Root Block.

How long it takes?

Depending on how the nerve roots are injected the procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes.


Pain relief will start in 2-3 days after the procedure. Except, your legs or arms or specific nerve root will be slightly heavy and numb. The pain will be felt less because of the effect of local anesthesia and after the anesthesia will wear off it will be strongly felt only a day or two.


The symptoms of herniated disc will be successfully removed by Selective Nerve Root Block procedure. This may also help in delaying or even eliminating the need of surgery or any other procedures for those patients who have severe pain caused by herniated disc.