What Is a Nerve Block and How Can It Help You?
March 1, 2017
What Are Nerve Blocks?
Nerve blocks work as a way of disrupting pain signals in nerves before the brain has a chance to process that pain. This is achieved by injecting a special medicine around the nerve, essentially “blocking” pain transmission.
What Does a Nerve Block Do and How Can It Help?
A nerve block can function in two ways:
- Diagnostic nerve blocks assist physicians in pinpointing what is causing certain pains and help to determine treatment so that they can operate accordingly.
- Therapeutic nerve blocks provide prolonged pain relief and prevent pain from reoccurring in the same part of the body in the future.
What Happens During a Nerve Block Procedure?
The good news is that you will most likely be able to stay awake during this operation.
A local anesthesia is used before the physician begins. Then a fluoroscope X-ray will help to gently guide the needle to the right spot. This is necessary for complete accuracy and safety. Then, pain-relieving medicine is injected into the affected nerves.
It only takes about half an hour to fully recover from the treatment, after which you’ll be dismissed to go home. A little sore sensation on the injection site of the nerve block is normal.
Outcomes of Treatment
Besides a decrease in pain, a nerve block treatment is very beneficial in helping patients with other desired goals, such as:
- increased functional status
- decreased opioid usage
- increased ability to perform physical therapy
- ability of other maintenance or preventative modalities
Good to Know
Of course, as with all medical procedures, different patients may respond differently to the treatments. Give it time; allow at least a week before experiencing full pain relief and the other benefits.
In some cases, patients require a few injections of the nerve block, with each one more anti-inflammatory than the last. This process can be beneficial in helping the pain symptoms to not return.
If you have any more questions about this and other medical and pain-related procedures, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Southside Pain Specialists and schedule a consultation today.