Dorsal Root Ganglion Blocks

Pain Management Treatments in Texas

A dorsal root ganglion block (DRG block) is a minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting local anesthetic and/or steroids into the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). The DRG is a small, oval-shaped cluster of nerve cells located just outside the spinal cord. It's responsible for transmitting sensory information from the body to the spinal cord and brain.

DRG blocks are used to treat a variety of pain conditions, including:

Radicular pain: Pain that radiates from the spine to other parts of the body, such as the arms or legs. This type of pain is often caused by nerve root compression, which can occur due to a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or other spinal conditions.

Neuropathic pain: Pain caused by damage to the nerves. This can be burning, tingling, or shooting type of pain.

Chronic pain: Pain that lasts for more than three months and is not relieved by other treatments.

How is a DRG block performed?

DRG blocks are typically performed in an outpatient setting and usually take about 30 minutes to complete.

Before the procedure, the patient lies on their stomach on an X-ray table. The area where the injection will be given is cleaned and numbed with a local anesthetic.

The doctor will then use a type of X-ray machine called a fluoroscope to guide a thin needle to the DRG. Once the needle is in place, the doctor will inject a local anesthetic and/or steroid medication.

The local anesthetic numbs the nerves in the DRG, which will temporarily relieve pain. The steroid medication will reduce inflammation and may provide longer-lasting pain relief.


What are the benefits of a DRG block?

We've found DRG blocks can provide several benefits, including:

  • Pain relief: DRG blocks can provide temporary or long-lasting pain relief for a variety of pain conditions.
  • Improved quality of life: DRG blocks can help people with chronic pain to live more active and fulfilling lives.
  • Reduced need for medication: DRG blocks can help people to reduce their reliance on pain medication.
  • Avoidance of surgery: DRG blocks can be an effective alternative to more invasive surgery for some people with chronic pain.
What are the risks of a DRG block?

DRG blocks are generally safe procedures. However, there are a few potential risks.

  • Infection can occur if the injection site is not properly sterilized.
  • Bleeding can occur if the needle damages a blood vessel.
  • Nerve damage can occur if the needle is not placed correctly.
  • The local anesthetic may cause temporary weakness or numbness in the area where the injection is given.
What can you expect after a DRG block?

Patients may experience some temporary discomfort at the injection site. They may also experience some temporary numbness or weakness in the area where the injection was given.

Patients are typically able to go home after the procedure. However, some may need to have someone drive them home because the local anesthetic may impair coordination.

Patients should avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the procedure. They should also avoid taking any blood thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin, for 24 hours after the procedure.


DRG blocks can be an effective treatment for a variety of pain conditions. They are generally safe procedures with few risks. If you are considering a DRG block, talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you.

If you experience chronic pain and would like to know if the dorsal root ganglion block is right for you, make an appointment with us. We'll perform a full evaluation and create a treatment program for your unique situation.