A selective nerve root block is a procedure designed to be a diagnostic test to determine which specific spinal nerve is the source of your pain.
Along the spine, there are several “holes” (foramina) through which nerve roots emerge. Bulging discs, bone spurs, misalignment of vertebrae and other spinal disorders can cause these holes to partially close. This can cause the nerve root to become pinched and create shooting and/or radiating pain.
A selective nerve root block is an injection that delivers anesthetic and/or steroid medication to a specific root site. If the medication reduces pain symptoms, then the source of the pain is identified. From there, your physician can discuss further treatments (such as Radiofrequency Ablation) to provide more lasting relief.