Lumbar Nerve Root Block
Imaging techniques, such as an MRI scan, can reveal small disc bulges and/ or wear and tear in the spine with possible nerve irritation or inflammation. This can cause pain down the leg in the area that the nerve supplies.
The intervertebral disc is the structure between the vertebrae(bones of the spine). It acts as both a spacer and a shock absorber. The disc is composed of two parts: a soft, gel-like middle (the nucleus pulposus) and a tougher fibrous wall (the annulus fibrosus) which surrounds it.
Sometimes the intervertebral discs lose their flexibility, elasticity and shock-absorbing characteristics, while the tough layer of ligaments that surrounds the intervertebral disc may weaken and no longer be able to contain the gel-like substance in the centre. This material may bulge through a tear in the disc all (herniation) and can cause inflammation to the surrounding area and nerve roots. As the disc then degenerates it can lose height and, as a consequence, close down the bony canal where the nerve root leaves the spinal column. This can cause pain if it touches the nerve.