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Selective Nerve Root Block

Pain Management Specialists located throughout Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois

Selective Nerve Root Block

About Selective Nerve Root Block

Determining the precise cause of back and neck pain ensures that you receive the most effective treatment. Doctors sometimes find it challenging to pinpoint spinal pain’s origins. Commonwealth Pain and Spine’s experienced doctors perform selective nerve root blocks at offices across Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. These injections identify the pain’s source and offer relief from treatment-resistant symptoms. Call your nearest office today or schedule a consultation online to see how selective nerve root blocks can ease your spinal pain.

Selective Nerve Root Block Q&A

What is a selective nerve root block?

Selective nerve root blocks are injections that diagnose and treat inflamed spinal nerves. The injections contain an anesthetic or a mix of an anesthetic and a steroid.

Your doctor injects the nerve block near the spinal nerve where it exits the intervertebral foramen (a gap between the spinal bones). Selective nerve root blocks reduce inflammation and numb pain transmitted by the spinal nerve.

Why might I need a selective nerve root block?

You might require a selective nerve root block for one of two reasons:


The Commonwealth Pain and Spine team uses selective nerve root blocks to identify where your pain is coming from. If the injection numbs your pain, they know the problem is in that area.


The pain relief nerve blocks offer lasts only a few hours. Steroid medication in a nerve block reduces inflammation, nerve irritation, and pain signal strength for far longer.

What conditions benefit from selective nerve root blocks?

Selective nerve root blocks treat inflamed nerve roots caused by:

Herniated discs

Discs are cushioning pads between the vertebrae (spinal bones). They also stabilize your spine. Severe back injuries can split the disc’s outer shell, allowing its gel core to leak into your spinal canal. More commonly, herniated discs happen after years of wear-and-tear weaken and harden the discs.


Osteoarthritis is another wear-and-tear condition causing friction between the spinal joints. Small bony growths (bone spurs) develop in response to the damage.


Scoliosis is a spinal abnormality. Patients have spines that curve left and/or right instead of following a vertical line. The abnormal curvature pressures the spinal nerves.

These conditions can cause chemical irritation and/or nerve compression that trigger back or neck pain.

What can I expect from a selective nerve root block?

A selective nerve root block is an outpatient treatment. Before the injection, the team cleans the skin over the injection site to prevent infection. A team member might inject a small quantity of contrast dye (a harmless fluid that shows up on diagnostic images).

The dye ensures the needle is accurately positioned near the target nerve and prevents injections from entering blood vessels. The team uses fluoroscopy (moving X-ray) or ultrasound imaging guidance to find the nerve.

Call Commonwealth Pain and Spine today or book an appointment online to learn more about selective nerve root blocks.

Medial Branch Block

This diagnostic procedure is performed to identify a painful facet joint. The facet joints are the joints between the vertebrae in the spine. They allow the spine to bend, flex and twist.