If an individual is suffering from chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, or arms, this could be symptomatic of nerve damage in the cervical spine. To help treat this pain, a procedure known as a cervical selective nerve root block (SNRB) can help relieve this pain in the form of an injection.
What Exactly is a Cervical Selective Nerve Root Block?
An SNRB is an injection administered in the cervical spine that helps relieve pain in the neck, arms, and shoulders resulting from pinched nerves within the cervical spine. SNRBs are often used to help treat certain conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and radiculopathy.
What the Procedure Entails
Prior to being given the injection, the patient will either lie face down or face up to leave the neck exposed. Patients are sedated for the procedure but remain awake throughout. The neck is then numbed in a specific region of tissue and skin using a local anesthetic, which doctors administer using a small needle.
Physicians then use a fluoroscope—a type of x-ray device—to help guide the needle to the injection area. The physician inserts the needle in the area known as the neural foramen space, through which nerves travel along the spine. To help ensure the needle is properly positioned, physicians inject contrast dye to make irritated nerves more visible.
After the medicine is injected into the foramen space, which usually takes several minutes, the needle is removed and physicians apply a small bandage to the injection area. While some patients will only require a single injection, others may need as many as two or three for sufficient pain relief.
How Long Do the Benefits Last?
Following an SNRB, a majority of patients will notice significant pain relief around the third to seventh day after the initial injection. This pain relief can last for weeks or months, but the patient may require additional injections if the pain fails to subside during this period. Doctors normally limit the number of injections to three during a 12-month period. Giving more than three injections per year can put the patient at risk of experiencing certain side effects of cortisone, which may include insomnia, acne, thinning skin, dry skin, mood changes, headaches, and other more serious side effects such as anaphylaxis in more extreme cases.
If you believe you need a cervical selective nerve root block and would like to consult with a doctor to learn more about this procedure, call us or fill out our contact form to request an appointment with our pain specialist.
Call The Pain Center to See a Pain Specialist
Our pain specialists undergo extensive training to understand the root cause of acute and chronic pain and treat it accordingly. We will work with you to suggest the best treatment options for your condition. Dr. Sandra Thompson has 28+ years of experience and is an expert in managing chronic pain for back, neck, and body.
If you’re looking for expert care to help reduce and relieve pain as well as improve your overall quality of life, our pain specialists can diagnose underlying conditions and prescribe treatments that will help you to control your pain and regain a reasonable quality of life. Contact us today to make an appointment for a consultation with our pain specialists at The Pain Center.