Nerve Blocks, Procedures, and Care
What is a Nerve Block Procedure?
A nerve block is a nonsurgical procedure that has proven effective for many patients needing pain management or treatment. Chronic pain is debilitating. Getting a nerve block provides immediate relief.
It is a life-altering procedure for those who are suffering as it can provide pain relief for years. This treatment may even prevent patients from having to get neck or back surgery.
What is a Nerve Block?
A nerve block is administered via an injection of medicine as close to the pain-causing nerves as possible. This is known as a Peripheral Nerve Blockade. This medication will block the pain signal from getting sent to the brain.
The medication may also be injected outside of the spinal cord using an epidural steroid injection or injecting medicine in the spinal fluid, known as spinal anesthesia.
This procedure is used to help a damaged nerve heal, provide temporary relief of pain, or help to identify the true source of pain that you are feeling.
There are many different types of nerve blocks, our doctors at Vascular & Intervention Specialists of Prescott specialize in Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, and Intercostal specific nerve blocks.
Types of Nerve Blocks:
Nerve blocks are meant to help improve the quality of life of those who suffer from chronic pain. Patients may experience increased functionality in daily living so they can work, exercise and do the activities they are used to.
Cervical Nerve Blocks
This procedure can be used to help identify the source of pain felt in the neck, also known as the cervical spine. It can also be used for a long-term pain relief method.
A cervical nerve block would be performed for those suffering from neck pain, shoulder pain, or arm pain.
Steroid injections work to reduce inflammation to heal the damaged nerve and assist in healing.
Thoracic Nerve Blocks
A thoracic nerve block helps those suffering from pain in the mid-back region or in the chest and abdomen area.
Where back pain is such a common ailment, this nerve block helps to identify which nerve is causing the pain in this area. With the source of pain identified, a more accurate treatment plan can be determined by the doctor.
A numbing medication can be injected for temporary or longer-term pain relief.
Lumbar Nerve Blocks
The lumbar nerve block procedure will help to identify the source of pain that is coming from this area, which typically causes shooting pain in the lower back and legs, also known as sciatica.
This treatment can provide immediate relief of pain. If the first nerve block was successful, your doctor may schedule a series of treatments to provide longer-term pain relief.
Intercostal Nerve Blocks
Intercostal nerve blocks can be used to identify the source of pain for those experiencing pain in and/or around the ribs.
This procedure can also be used for those needing a chest tube inserted, prior to receiving surgery in this area or to ease pain due to rib fractures.
What to Expect During a Nerve Block Procedure
If medical advice has led you to receive this pain relief treatment, you can expect the following during your appointment at our medical center:
- Before the procedure begins, a local anesthetic may be administered to decrease any discomfort during the injection of pain medication.
- Via X-ray imaging guidance, our Interventional Radiologist will insert a needle with the nerve-numbing medication as close to the pinched nerve as possible.
- Nerve block procedures are performed as an outpatient service, which typically lasts around 30 minutes
- You should feel immediate relief after receiving the injections.
How Long Does a Nerve Block Last?
Immediately the patients feel pain relief from the anesthesia, though this does wear off shortly after the procedure. There short-term nerve blocks that may wear off within a week, or longer-lasting nerve blocks.
You and your doctor will discuss which procedure is best to help alleviate your symptoms.
Often, the injected medication will help to reduce the inflammation which will help to relieve the pain and encourage healing of the nerve.
Your Care is Our Utmost Priority
Schedule an appointment at VISP to get the pain relief that is best for you. Meeting with our specialists, you will receive an individualized treatment plan to provide the most efficient, effective and safest care.
Call us to start the conversation about pain relief for you.