A selective nerve block is used to relieve severe pain caused by irritation to the nerves in the spine, such as with a “slipped” disc or pinched nerve. Selective nerve blocks can also be used to diagnose a back problem and determine if a nerve root is the source of pain.
As the name indicates, a selective nerve block, targets specific nerves, rather than an entire area. The injection delivers a therapeutic combination of steroids and anesthetic to reduce inflammation and reduce pain. While pain relief is temporary, the length of time is dependent on the patient’s specific condition and symptoms.
When used to diagnose a condition, a smaller dose of medication is injected into the painful nerve(s). If pain is relieved, then the doctor can confirm a diagnosis and proceed with a treatment plan.
Selective nerve block is also effective for relieving arm or leg pain and are generally not used for midline back pain.