Florida Pain Medicine is a rotation site and teaching facility for USF Health ACGME Pain Medicine Fellowship and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency.
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Root Blocks

Florida Pain Medicine

Pain Management Physicians located in Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, and Brandon, FL

If you have pain that radiates through your limbs, a root block goes straight to the source of the problem, where the nerve begins. At Florida Pain Medicine, the team of interventional pain management specialists helps patients in Brandon, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, Riverview, and Tampa, Florida, find relief from debilitating pain that can have a major quality-of-life impact. To explore how a root block can help you, call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Root Blocks Q & A

What Conditions Can a Root Block Help?

The core of your nervous system runs through your spine and branches off along the way, sending peripheral nerves throughout your body. When there’s a problem close to home — or the root — you may feel the pain, numbness, and tingling radiate through your peripheral nerves, affecting your limbs.

The most common problems stem from nerve compression or irritation in your lumbar (lower back) and cervical spine, or neck. Often, the discs that cushion your vertebrae herniate, or bulge, affecting the nerve roots in the area. This, in turn, sends pain sensations along the nerve pathways down through your shoulders and arms, in the case of the cervical spine, and your buttocks and legs, in the case of your lumbar spine.

If you’re feeling numbness or tingling, this means that the compression is preventing or weakening the signals that travel along your peripheral nerves.

How Does the Root Block Work?

A root block often serves two purposes:

  1. Diagnostic: Your doctor at Florida Pain Medicine typically uses a root block to diagnose the source of your pain. Through diagnostic imaging, your doctor pinpoints the general area of the problem, but sometimes the root responsible for your pain and numbness is hidden. By performing a root block that lasts 24 hours, your doctor is able to isolate the correct nerve for treatment.
  2. Treatment: Once your doctor identifies the nerve responsible for your discomfort, they go back in and block that nerve root from sending out pain signals.

How is a Root Block Done?

Whether diagnostic or treatment, your doctor uses X-ray imaging to guide a needle into your nerve root. Once they’re satisfied they have the right target, your doctor injects a combination of a local anesthetic for the pain and a steroid to reduce the inflammation in the area.

Your doctor performs a root block on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to go home afterward.

How Long Does the Root Block Last?

The answer to this varies from one person to the next. Some patients undergo a root block once a year, while others come in three times a year. The effects of the anesthetic wear off quickly, but the steroid provides relief for longer periods.

To find out whether a root block is right for you, call Florida Pain Medicine, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

What we offer

Pain Management Services