Selective Nerve Root Blocks from Pain Management Doctors

Selective Nerve Root Blocks from Pain Management Doctors

Pain management doctors offer a number of treatments for patients interested in receiving minimally invasive pain relief. One such treatment is the selective nerve root block (SNRB) injection.

These injections help to relieve pain caused by inflamed nerves in the spinal column. This article explains how an SNRB injection works and who would benefit most from the treatment.

How Does an SNRB Injection Work?

An SNRB injection is generally a combination of a steroid compound and an anesthetic. In some cases the steroids are used on their own without the addition of the anesthetic. The steroid is the most important component of the injection as it helps to actually inhibit nerve functioning.

There are a couple of ways that these steroids work in the body to reduce pain.

Firstly, they help to prevent the body from producing an enzyme called phospholipase A. One of the functions of this enzyme is to send pain signaling, so by reducing its production you can reduce pain.

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The steroids can also help to block the function of C fibers in the nervous system. This helps to reduce pain signal transmission in patients.

Finally, the steroid injection helps to make the nerves less permeable. This decreases the amount of blood available to the nerve which will reduce pain signaling.

Uses of an SNRB Injection

Some patients may need an SNRB injection. There are several conditions that may render the SNRB useful.


  • People struggling with inflammation in their nerve root, especially in relation to a herniated disc
  • People who are experiencing pain related to degradation in the spine caused by injury or natural wear-and-tear
  • People struggling with certain physical health problems like scoliosis


SNRB injections are often recommended to people who have had experience with other pain treatments and found minimal success.

Do SNRB Injections Work?

The SNRB injection is a relatively new process. As such, there isn’t a lot of research available on the topic. However, a few studies have been done in this area which has proven relatively successful.

One study followed a group of people who received SNRB injections in their cervical spine. After a single injection, 57% of the patients noted a significant decrease in their overall pain levels. This improvement lasted for half a year.

Another study evaluated patients receiving injections in the lumbar spine. In this study, 46% of patients noted a serious decrease in pain. These results lasted for at least a year.


These results show that roughly half of the people who receive SNRB injections will experience improvements. Side effects of SNRB injections are rare, but they can occur. Side effects may include infections, allergic reactions, and bleeding resulting from the injection. It’s important to ensure that your Illinois pain management doctors are certified to avoid the risk of spinal cord damage or a pneumothorax.


SNRB injections are a minimally invasive procedure that helps to reduce pain caused by compressed nerves in the spinal column. Talk to Illinois pain management doctors to learn more about this procedure.