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Selective Nerve Root Block

A Selective Nerve Root Block is a diagnostic and therapeutic tool that can help your doctor determine the source of your back or neck pain.

Benefits of Selective Nerve Root Block

A Selective Nerve Root Block (SNRB) is an injection procedure used to identify specific painful nerve roots near your spinal cord, and treat pain associated with those roots. Compared to an epidural steroid injection—which targets a relatively large area surrounding the length of your spinal cord—an SNRB can provide much more detailed information for the diagnosis of potential sources of your spine-related symptoms.

To determine if you are a candidate for a Selective Nerve Root Block, contact one of our Patient Care Managers at 877.474.2225. If you have already seen a physician, send us a copy of your recent MRI or CT for review using the form on this page.

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Details of the Selective Nerve Root Block

Selective Nerve Root Block may also be referred to as “pain mapping,” as it is often performed to isolate or map out the cause of the pain. This procedure may include inducing and temporarily treating the pain in a specific location. To better identify the cause of pain, your physician may use injected dye and imaging to “see” what is happening when the pain is evoked. Neurostimulation may also be applied to selected locations. While under twilight sedation, the patient is comfortable yet aware enough to respond and interact with the physician, in order to precisely diagnose the origin of pain. The results of the pain mapping determine the course of treatment.

During a Selective Nerve Root Block, your doctor will target specific compressed or irritated nerves in your neck, upper back, or lower back, injecting an anesthetic, anti-inflammatory corticosteroid or a mixture of these two medications into the space immediately surrounding the nerve or nerves. To help find the proper nerve(s), a fluoroscope may be used, which produces live images that can be viewed on a monitor. In some cases, an SNRB will be used only diagnostically. In others, they will be used both to diagnose and treat a problem.

Preparing for the Selective Nerve Root Block

Before receiving a SNRB injection, most physicians will require an MRI or CT-scan to get a better idea of what could be causing the pain. Often, a SNRB injection is often just one portion of the conservative treatment method a physician may suggest to treat back or neck pain. Other methods include physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments. If these conservative methods have not produced meaningful, long-lasting relief, you may be a candidate for a surgical North American Spine procedure.

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Selective Nerve Root Block Recovery

Most patients will be able to return to normal activities the next day, though the injection site may have some dull soreness. Side effects–including headaches and infections–are rare. Your physician will counsel you on these risks prior to the procedure.

To determine if you are a candidate for a Selective Nerve Root Block, contact us anytime at 877.474.2225 or submit a form on this page.

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Steve S.

Condition: Bulging Disc

Procedure: Selective Nerve Root Block

Hometown: Macon, Missouri

“Because of the truly minimally invasive procedure, and due to the success of my father-in-law's procedure”

"I am free of pain every day. I feel better overall and I look forward to enjoying riding my motorcycle again! In the future, if I need to have any other procedure done, I would most definitely go back to NAS and I highly recommend it to others. In fact, I have given out NAS's business cards to over half a dozen people so far."

Connect With A Patient

Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

Connect with a Patient

We love your questions!

Our friendly Patient Care Managers are standing by and ready to help. Call us at 877.474.2225 or complete the form below, and we'll be in touch shortly.