A selective nerve root block (SNRB) is an injection primarily used to diagnose spinal nerve root pain. It is used diagnostically in the event that an imaging procedure, such as an MRI, does not clearly indicate which nerve is the source of pain. Secondarily, the medication provides relief from back, leg or other pain caused by the irritated spinal nerves. An SNRB can also be used to treat certain types of herniated discs.
The patient lies down on an x-ray table. Using a fluoroscope, a type of X-ray that provides live imaging of the body, the nerve root is located, and anesthesia and steroids (medication) are injected into the area. The entire procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes.