May 20, 2020

Treatment of a nerve in the spine

Your treating doctor has suggested that you have a treatment for a nerve or nerve knot that exits the spine. In this brochure, you can read how this treatment is carried out in the Regional Pain Center in the spine and sports clinic and about other matters that may be important in this regard. The pain specialist carries out the treatment. It may be that the pain specialist chooses a slightly different method, which better suits your situation.Sometimes it may be necessary to find the right nerve by means of a test treatment.

What does a trial treatment mean?

The pain you have may be partly caused by one or more nerves. These pain complaints can be reduced by the treatment of the involved nerve. After the physical examination and possibly the additional examination, it is not always clear to the pain specialist which nerve is involved in the pain complaints. To obtain clarity it is sometimes necessary to perform a so-called test treatment or test block. Reasons for a trial treatment:

  • There are pain complaints that radiate to the head, trunk, arm, or leg. In order to treat the pain, it must be clear which nerve is causing the pain. Click here to visit spine treatment in Mumbai.
  • After a pain-guiding nerve has been detected, additional treatment can be performed. This is done by injecting anesthesia and/or anti-inflammatory drugs into the nerve or by heat-treating the nerve in the spine.
  • It is also possible that a test treatment is needed to determine whether and at what level of the spine an operation can be performed, for example, if a hernia presses against a nerve.

A test treatment, therefore, means that it is first necessary to find out which nerve is causing the pain complaint. During the test treatment, one nerve is always anesthetized for several hours. In the test treatment, the effect can be assessed well after 20 to 30 minutes.


Only after the trial treatment has been done, the pain specialist can make a statement about which nerve (knot) can be treated. Additional treatment is necessary for some patients. The doctor will discuss with you which additional treatment method is most suitable in your case:

  • heat treatment of the involved nerve (referred to in medical terms as 'radiofrequency thermolysin' or 'pulsed radiofrequency treatment'),
  • injection of medication, usually anesthetic and prednisone, where the nerve leaves the spine,
  • surgery of the hernia or narrowing in the back that causes the nerve stimulation (the need for surgery is determined by the neurosurgeon).

Additional treatment can provide pain relief for a longer period of time and be repeated if necessary if the pain does return. After a heat treatment you may experience temporary pain. With additional (definitive) blockages, the result of the treatment is only assessed after a few weeks. You may have previously noticed a beneficial effect on the pain symptoms.

How do you prepare?

Tell the doctor beforehand:

  • if you have a blood clotting disorder or if you are taking blood-thinning medicines, appropriate measures can be taken to temporarily stop these medicines before treatment,
  • if you are or suspect you are pregnant,
  • if you are allergic to iodine, patches, X-ray contrast media or topical anesthetics,
  • if you have a pacemaker or neurostimulator.
  • It is best to leave jewelry and money at home in connection with loss and/or theft.
  • After the treatment, you may not actively participate in traffic the same day. Make sure you are brought home by a companion after the treatment.