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Physicians' Pain and Spine Specialists, PLLC

Selective Nerve Root Block

A selective nerve root block (SNRB) is an injection that delivers medication into the space around spinal nerve roots – and has two purposes. First, it can be used as a diagnostic test to locate the specific spinal nerve root that is the suspected cause of the pain. Second, it can be used as treatment to relieve back, leg or other pain caused by the irritated spinal nerves.

Compared to an epidural steroid injection—which targets a relatively large area surrounding the length of your spinal cord, called the epidural space—a selective nerve root block can provide much more detailed information when diagnosing potential sources of back-related symptoms. Selective nerve root blocks may also reduce the area in your body affected by medication.
Under fluoroscopic guidance, the physician will target specific compressed or irritated nerves in your neck (cervical spine), upper back (thoracic spine) or lower back (lumbar spine) and inject an anesthetic, anti-inflammatory corticosteroid or a mixture of these two medications into the space immediately surrounding them.

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