A selective nerve root block (SNRB) is an injection that delivers medication into the space around spinal nerve roots. The goals of this treatment are to determine the location of a specific spinal nerve root that is the suspected cause of the pain and, secondarily, to provide relieve back, leg or other pain caused by the irritated spinal nerves. A SNRB may also be used therapeutically for the treatment of specific types of disc herniations.
Spinal nerves can become inflamed due to compression, for example from a damaged disc or from contact with a bone spur. Depending on the location of the inflamed nerves, pain and/or other symptoms (such as numbness, tingling) may be experienced in different areas of the body. Nerve irritation in the cervical spine can cause pain, tingling or numbness in the neck, arm or shoulder. Nerve irritation in the thoracic spine can produce upper back pain or pain along the ribs and chest wall. Irritation of lower back (lumbar) nerves can produce lower back pain, hip pain, buttock pain or pain, tingling or numbness in the leg.
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