Pain Management

December 29, 2014

Reduce Back Pain and Find Out What Is Causing It With the Same Procedure

Man in office uniform having back pain issue / back injury

The benefits of selective nerve root blocks reach you and your surgeon, so they can easily diagnose the source of your chronic back pain while specifically treating your pain simultaneously.

If you live with chronic back pain, at some point you will need to seek interventional treatment before your condition takes over your life. While there are numerous pain management options available, including epidural steroid injections, one to particularly consider is a selective nerve root block. This specialized injection technique can actually pinpoint the spinal nerve roots causing pain and treat them at the same time to give you immediate relief.

Why Do You Have Chronic Back Pain?
The nerves of your spine emerge from numerous areas in your spinal cord and pass between the vertebrae in your spine. These nerves then continue to other parts of your body to communicate signals for movement to muscles and other systems. A nerve root itself is the part of your nerve that connects directly to your spinal cord. In the event your nerve roots become abnormally compressed or irritated, you may develop chronic back pain and other changes to your normal nerve sensations. This is commonly caused by herniated discs or bone spurs.

What Are Selective Nerve Root Blocks?
Selective nerve root blocks are injections utilized to identify and isolate the specific spinal cord nerve roots that are causing your chronic back pain in order to provide direct pain medication. One of the many benefits of selective nerve root blocks is that the injection targets a very specific area, thereby reducing the total area of your body affected by medication.

What Happens During a Selective Nerve Root Block?
When you undergo a selective nerve root block, your surgeon will identify specific irritated or compressed nerves in your back. In order to find the exact nerve that is causing your chronic back pain, your doctor will use a fluoroscope, a live x-ray machine, or a CT scan to view images of your nerve roots and ensure the medication is going to the correct location. Your surgeon will then inject an anesthetic, or numbing medication, with a time-released cortisone to reduce inflammation into the area surrounding the affected nerve roots.

The Potential Risks and Benefits of Selective Nerve Root Blocks
A selective nerve root block can provide very specific information to your doctor in the diagnosis of your back pain symptoms. Other back pain relief techniques, such as an epidural steroid injections, target larger and more general areas of the back, thereby resulting in less detailed information about cause and condition of the specific nerve root experiencing pain. Both options, however, provide about the same amount of pain relief.

Like all medical procedures, there are some potential risks associated with selected nerve root blocks, including infection, allergic reactions, damage to the targeted nerve or other nerves, fluid leaks, and bleeding. Furthermore, selective nerve root blocks are a relatively difficult procedure to perform, and not all medical facilities have experience in this delicate procedure. Arkansas Surgical Hospital, however, is a leader in back pain management and is fully equipped to perform selective nerve root blocks in a safe and effective manner.

Contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital today to talk to an expert about ways to eliminate your chronic back pain and the benefits of selective nerve root blocks. For more information, you can also call (877) 918-7020 to schedule a consultation.

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