If you visit your physician due to pain in your lumbar (lower) spine, or for related symptoms such as radiating pain, numbness or tingling and muscle weakness in the legs, buttocks or feet, it is important for you to receive a correct diagnosis. Some of the most common diagnostic procedures include a physical examination, reviewing medical history and taking diagnostic imagery such as an X-ray or MRI. Another step many doctors and spine specialists take to diagnose the cause of lower back pain is a nerve block injection.
This procedure, also known as a selective nerve root block injection, can help your physician identify the nerve root that is compressed or inflamed and therefore causing your pain. If you experience immediate relief from your pain once the nerve block is administered, the physician can then create a targeted surgical plan to address the level of the spine causing your painful symptoms.
Nerve block injections as a form of conservative treatment
In addition to helping physicians diagnose patients with lumbar spine pain, nerve block injections can also be used to treat patients with lower back pain. While the anesthetic in a nerve block injection provides immediate pain relief that lasts for a brief period of time, the addition of a corticosteroid to the injection helps reduce inflammation in the nerve root where it is injected. The cortisone continues to work after the anesthetic has worn off and can help promote healing within the compressed nerve root.
A physician will prescribe a nerve block injection in the lower back as part of a course of conservative treatments to help a patient manage lumbar spine pain. This type of treatment can provide relief when used over the course of several months, especially when combined with conservative treatments such as:
- Over-the-counter or prescription medication
- Physical therapy
- Use of hot or cold compresses
- Lifestyle changes like weight loss, posture improvement or quitting smoking, if needed
While many patients are able to find lasting relief from these and other conservative methods, surgery can become an option if symptoms continue and you and your doctor decide treatment options have been exhausted.
USA Spine Care’s Relief Confirmation Test
USA Spine Care provides minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative^ to traditional open neck or back procedures. For potential candidates who are considering the benefits of our outpatient procedures, we offer our Relief Confirmation Test. This test is a diagnostic selective nerve root block that can help patients temporarily experience the relief that our procedures can offer. While the outcome of any surgery can never be guaranteed, our Relief Confirmation Test offers the opportunity to determine if relief is possible. To learn more about the advantages of our outpatient procedures, contact our caring and dedicated team today.
We are happy to offer a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.