What To Expect After A Nerve Root Block

What To Expect After A Nerve Root Block

Patients often feel slightly apprehensive about having a nerve root block, because they are slightly worried about the pain levels and are also apprehensive about whether or not it will be successful.

However, there is no need to feel concerned, most root blacks are successful and your pain consultant will have been relatively certain that it will provide some pain relief for you.  It is also a really quick procedure, lasting for half an hour or so and it is minimally invasive.

First 24 Hours

After the procedure you may feel slightly dizzy or even have a slight feeling of being faint, however, this will soon pass and after the procedure you will be monitored to check that you are ok and after a short period, you will be allowed home.

You will not be able to drive after the procedure simply because the treated nerves may cause you to feel ‘strange’ for a short time and it is purely precautionary.  Insurance companies tend to err on the side of caution after any medical procedure and you will need to have someone to drive you home.

It is usually advisable to rest for the rest of the day and if you live alone, it can be very helpful to have someone stay with you overnight, simply to ensure that you are ok.

Often patients find that they do not have immediate pain relief; it may take a few days, but after that pain is usually minimised.

Getting Back To Normal

After the procedure it can be helpful to ensure that you move around after the first day, so that you ensure that the joints are kept mobile.

One thing that can be particularly helpful is to keep a clear record of your pain levels in the next few weeks.  A pain diary helps you to be able to present your pain consultant with a detailed record of pain levels.  It can often be hard to remember exactly what you felt and when you felt it, but a diary ensures that you have all that information at your fingertips when you next see your pain consultant.

Normal life can be resumed within just a few days of the procedure, but you may also be referred to resume physiotherapy.

The main benefit of physiotherapy after a nerve root block is that it will encourage the body to heal itself.  The physiotherapy will promote flexibility and stop the problem re-occurring again.

Sometimes, given that we live in such a hectic world, patients often feel that the nerve root block should be the end of treatment and that there is no need to undertake physiotherapy.  However, the physiotherapy has an important role to play and this should not be underestimated; it can take some time, but should be regarded as an investment. You are investing time in making sure that you can have a pain free life once again.

Physiotherapy may not always be required and if it is not recommended there is no need to be concerned.

Whichever is recommended, you should find that life is a lot easier after the nerve root block, hopefully for a period of a few months.


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