A cervical selective nerve root block is an epidural steroid injection used for treating shoulder, upper back, neck, and arm pain. This injection can also determine whether your pain is being caused by disc problems or nerve root inflammation. While MRIs and other imaging tests are helpful in locating the source of pain, they may not be able to identify torn or leaking discs, which can be detected by a cervical selective nerve root block.
A cervical selective nerve root block is performed under local anesthesia; in some cases, an intravenous line may be used as well. Once your skin is numb from the local anesthetic, your doctor will insert a small needle into the epidural space, which protects the spinal cord and its nerves. Fluoroscopy or other imaging technologies may be used to verify that the needle is positioned properly. Once the needle is in the correct place, your epidural space will be injected with an anesthetic and a steroid.