Pinched Nerve In Neck and Back

What is a nerve impingement?

A nerve impingement in the neck or back is usually caused by a disc herniation or a bone spur that pushes on the spinal nerves and cause inflammation around the nerves. Inflammation of these nerve roots could cause pain in your arms or legs.

Spinal nerves exit your spine from small holes at the side of your spine and travel into your arms or legs. These nerves allow you to move your arms and legs. These nerve roots could become inflamed and painful due to irritation, for example, from a damaged disc.

What is a spinal nerve injection?

Although the MRI or the CT scan can show a disc bulging or a disc herniation, they do not determine whether the nerve is the source of your pain. This is because even people who do not have back pain often have bulging discs.

Targeted spinal nerve injections can help determine whether your nerve and the disc herniation is the source of your pain. If the nerve is the cause of your pain, then freezing the nerve should relieve the pain. If there is no pain relief, the nerve and the disc are not the pain generators.

The cause of pain is thought to be the inflammation around the nerve. Therefore, the addition of an anti-inflammatory drug, such as a corticosteroid, should settle the inflammation and relieve your pain. Therefore, this injection serves as a diagnosis and treatment at the same time.

Research has shown that nerve impingements usually heal on their own, without surgery. The targeted nerve injections promote healing and speed up “mother nature”, thus avoiding surgery.

A selective spinal nerve injection cannot be done without fluoroscopic guidance. There is no way that a physician can come close to these nerves blindly (in an office setting) without fluoroscopy.

Keep in mind that targeted nerve injections are not the same as the traditional epidural injections. Traditional epidural injections place the medication far away from the site of the disc herniation and the nerve, whereas targeted nerve injections place the medication precisely at the site of the problem nerve and the disc. Traditional epidural injections spread the freezing around many nerves. Targeted nerve injections focus the medicine on a single nerve, and therefore, help determine whether that nerve is the cause of your pain.

What will happen to me during the procedure?

After the physician has administered an intravenous pain reliever, you will lie on your stomach. The skin over your back will be cleaned. Next, the physician will numb a small area of skin, which stings for a few seconds.
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