Nerve Root Blocks

A nerve root block is an injection of local anesthetic (numbing medicine) and steroid injected under X-ray guidance into the area where the nerve exits the spinal column. A nerve root block is usually ordered by your doctor for pain in the arm or leg that follows the path of a single nerve. A nerve root block may be diagnostic (a test to determine the source of your pain) and/or therapeutic (to relieve your pain). If you get a period of sustained pain relief from the injection, the block may be repeated. Sometimes the block is done to help identify whether or not surgery might be helpful and at what level such surgery might be most helpful.

How do I prepare for my procedure?

No solid food or fluids after midnight prior to the procedure unless directed otherwise. You may take your medications with a small amount of water. Diabetics should not take their medication for diabetes until after the procedure is complete. Please check your blood sugar at home before arriving at the PMC. If you are taking any blood thinners such as Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, or any others, these medications must be discontinued well before the procedure. You will be directed by our staff as to when you should stop this medication. Please make your Pain Management doctor aware that you are taking a blood thinner, and contact your primary care physician or prescribing physician before stopping this medication.

Will I have restrictions?

You may not drive for the remainder of the day after your procedure. A responsible adult (over 18 years old) must be present to drive you home or to accompany you in a taxi. The procedure will be cancelled if you don’t have a responsible adult with you! This is for your safety. No heat is to be used on the injected area for the remainder of the day. No tub bath, shower or soaking in water (i.e., pool, hot tub, etc.) for the remainder of the day. You may resume normal diet and medications after the procedure unless told otherwise by your doctor.


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Doctor Root is a caring Pain Management Specialist in the San Fernando Valley. He treats a variety of pain conditions and is committed to walk this journey to a life with less pain!

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