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Nerve damage and inflammation can lead to chronic pain. The nerves send signals between your central nervous system and the rest of your body, so if there is a problem, you can feel pain in any part of your body.

Luckily, with new technology and novel treatments, we have gotten better at dealing with chronic pain without surgery. For example, a nerve root block is an effective way to treat mild and moderate pain with long-lasting success.

Read on to learn how nerve root block works and how to find adequate pain management in Woodlands, TX.

What Is a Nerve Root Block?

Although it may seem otherwise, a nerve root block is a non-invasive treatment used to identify and eliminate pain caused by a damaged nerve. The blockage is not physical but chemical. So, after the proper diagnosis and identification of the problematic nerve, a doctor injects a unique formulation into the nerve to numb it. As a result, it stops firing pain signals, which provides relief.

The injection is usually an anesthetic or a combination of anesthetic and steroids. This numbs the pain and helps reduce inflammation, which could provide significant and long-lasting benefits. However, it’s vital to mention that nerve root blocks aren’t a permanent solution.

How Does a Nerve Root Block Work?

A doctor uses ultrasound or fluoroscopy to locate the precise position of the problematic nerve. Then they inject a nerve root block, which can recreate and trigger a typical pain that the patient is dealing with.

A nerve root block has several effects on the injected nerve. It decreases the membrane permeability of nerve fibers, which limits their ability to receive blood and send pain transmission. In addition, it numbs and blocks certain types of nerve fibers, which are in charge of sending pain signals. That decreases their communication with the central nervous system, reducing pain. A nerve root block also inhibits certain enzymes that are the culprit of nerve irritation.

All of these effects, plus the numbing of an anesthetic, help achieve significant pain relief.

Are Nerve Root Blocks Safe?

A nerve root block is typically a safe procedure with a few side effects. Some minor risks include:

  • Soreness at the injection site
  • A sudden rush of energy
  • Itching
  • Elevated blood sugar levels in diabetics
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Muscle weakness

However, these side effects are rare and resolve within hours in most cases. 

How Quickly Does a Nerve Root Block Work?

A nerve root block is an effective way to relieve pain. But how quickly does it work?

Well, most patients experience pain relief immediately, within the first 30 minutes of the procedure. However, this varies from patient to patient, and you may have to wait hours or days to feel your pain decreasing.

If a nerve root block doesn’t help with your pain, the suspected nerve is not the culprit of the pain, and your doctor will look for other possible causes.

Where to Get a Nerve Root Block in Woodlands, TX?

If you want to learn more about nerve root blocks and get the right pain management in Woodlands, TX, Progressive Pain and Rehabilitation is here for you. Our fantastic team is led by Dr. Edward Nash, who dedicated his life to helping people get rid of pain with personalized treatments.

Click here to schedule an appointment and find out how you can live a pain-free life once again.