At MIC we provide image guided (fluoroscopy and ultrasound) pain management injections to treat inflammatory joint, soft tissue or other chronic pain conditions.
What is a Nerve Root Block?
A nerve root block is an injection of a local anesthetic and a steroid along a specific nerve root to help relieve pain.
Your spine has several foramina or holes through which nerve roots emerge. If these foramina are partially closed from bulging disks, bone spurs, misalignment of vertebrae, or other issues, the nerve root can also be pinched. This typically causes a shooting or radiating pain in your arm or leg that follows the path of a single nerve.
During the procedure, the radiologist will use fluoroscopy guidance to inject a local anesthetic and steroid into the area where the nerve exits the spinal column.
Your practitioner may order a nerve root block to either diagnose or treat your pain. It is important that you keep track of the amount of pain relief you receive as well as how long the pain relief lasts. If the injection gives you sustained pain relief, the block may be repeated.
What to expect
- You will be advised of any preparation by your booking agent before your appointment.
- If you are on any blood thinning medications (e.g. coumadin) you may be advised to stop taking them for a few days before your exam.
- Our radiologist will use a local anesthetic to ‘freeze’ the skin which will sting for a few seconds.
- The radiologist will then use x-ray guidance to place a small needle in the foramen alongside the nerve root and inject the local anesthetic and steroid.
- You should take it easy for a day or so after the procedure. You may experience some local tenderness for a couple of days after the injection. Using an ice pack three or four times a day should help relieve this.