The term nerve root block is one that many people find quite daunting and it sounds a very dramatic procedure.
However, it is a very safe and routine procedure to help manage/diagnose chronic pain conditions which are associated with nerve roots.
The injection is like many others I have written on and is first a local anaesthetic that is injected along with a steroid.
Because there is a local anaesthetic in the injection, the nerve will immediately be numbed. This then acts as a confirmation that the pain is actually being caused by a specific nerve and it will provide the patient with pain relief.
The steroid is also used to try and reduce inflammation that often occurs in the area near the nerve root and the discs in your back. Reducing this inflammation can actually provide relatively long term relief from pain, because the pain itself can be caused simply by this inflammation.