A Selective Nerve Root Block (SNRB) is a diagnostic test performed to determine if a specific spinal nerve root is the pain source. A SNRB helps your doctor diagnose cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) radiculopathy (irritation and inflammation of a nerve root).
Under fluoroscopic guidance, steroid medication (a strong anti-inflammatory) is injected at a specific nerve root. If the injection reduces symptoms, the pain source is identified. The test takes 15-30 minutes per spinal level.
A selective nerve root block, like other medical procedures, may present risks. Complications include risk of infection, low blood pressure, headache, and injury to nerve tissue.
Some patients should not undergo SNRB. Contraindications (precautions) include:
Tell your doctor about all medication you take, including over-the-counter drugs/herbs. Below is a short list of common instructions. Your doctor will provide a more specific list for you.