Nerve block is a pain management technique involving the injection of an anesthetic into the area surrounding an affected nerve. The technique is used to treat nueropathic pain by interrupting pain signals to the brain. An injection of steroids, local anesthetics, or opoids can effectively produce short-term back pain relief.
An epidural steroid injection, a type of nerve block, is typically used as a first line treatment in acute disc herniations in an effort to avoid surgery. In this situation, the steroid is placed in the epidural space under fluoroscopic control. These injections only cause short term pain relief and have no long-term effect.