Anaesthetist and Pain Management Consultant
Nerve Root Blocks
The spine is made up of multiple small bones which are stacked on top of each other to form the spinal column. The spinal canal houses the spinal cord which gives rise to nerves which come out of the spine and supply movement and sensation to the limbs and torso. There is a gel like cushion between the individual bones which acts like a shock absorber and helps maintain the flexibility of the spine.
Sometimes the disc can prolapse and impinge on the nerves coming out of the spinal column which can lead to sharp shooting electric shock like pain depending on the nerve involved, sometimes also called as sciatica if pain radiates to the legs.
If this is the case, after conservative management has been tried, your consultant may suggest a nerve root block epidural. This is a day surgery procedure and is performed under X-ray guidance. Under X-ray a needle is carefully guided close to the affected nerve and local anaesthetic and steroid injection is injected. This helps calm the inflammation in the area and can improve pain.