What is a Nerve Block and Who Should Get One?

Pain, especially chronic pain, can negatively impact your quality of life. The underlying conditions that cause chronic pain are often not treatable. Fortunately, pain medicine offers minimally invasive, interventional pain treatments to provide lasting pain relief and improved quality of life.

Nerve block is an interventional treatment that is essentially an injection of a steroids and a local anesthetic directly into the nerve in the painful area. Nerve blocks can provide long-term relief for chronic pain sufferers and can even help some patients avoid surgery.

What is a nerve block?

The purpose of a nerve block is to disrupt the pain signal it is sending to the brain or to decrease inflammation. Nerve blocks can also allow a damaged nerve time to heal itself if it is getting irritated. Nerve blocks can also be diagnostic – to help doctors figure out the cause for a patient’s pain.

Who can benefit from a nerve block?

Nerve blocks can relieve pain in the spine, neck, buttocks, legs, and arms. However, nerve blocks aren’t the answer to any pain. A nerve block is deal if a single or small group of nerves are the cause of the pain.

How soon does a nerve block work?

Pain relief from a nerve block can be almost immediate and can last from a few weeks to several months. Some people may need a series of injections to experience relief and many patients can have these injections a few times a year.

The nerve block procedure only requires a few minutes and is carried put with the help of fluoroscopy or X-ray guidance for accurate needle placement.

Different individuals may respond differently to a nerve block. The root cause for a person’s chronic pain could be more than just one joint or nerve. A nerve block can relieve some pain so that the person can undergo physical therapy to strengthen muscles and restore motion and function in the affected body part. Such multi-disciplinary approach is often employed by pain specialists to allow the person to achieve lasting pain relief and an improved quality of life.