A nerve block is the injection of a local anesthetic into the tissues surrounding a nerve. It relieves pain by interrupting the pain signals that would otherwise be sent to your brain.
Our nerve blocks are a non-narcotic, non-addictive method of pain treatment. During this treatment, an anesthetic (numbing) medication is injected near the source of the pain and/or the nerve supplying that region of the body.
Nerve blocks can be used to treat chronic pain when drugs or other treatments do not control pain or cause bad side effects. Nerve blocks may also be used:
• To determine the source of pain.
• To predict how pain will respond to long-term treatments.
• For short-term pain relief after some surgeries and other procedures.
• For anesthesia during some procedures.
Who is a candidate for nerve blocks?
Only 30–40% of chronic pain patients are candidates for nerve blocks. Pain is generated by damaged nerves which send abnormally painful signals to the brain. The pain generator is the area of damage to nerves that is sending abnormally painful signals to the brain.
How long before I feel relief from a nerve block?
Many patient report instant relief of some pain symptoms immediately after a nerve block is administered. Others report partial relief of their chronic pain symptoms after a nerve block is administered. In some cases, it takes several treatments over an extended period of time to relieve chronic pain symptoms.
How long do nerve blocks last?
As with any procedure of this type, results vary from patient to patient, but many patients often find immediate relief after the first injection. If the patient responds positively to the injection and experiences a lessening of pain, we may recommend a series of these blocks to treat the problem. The duration of relief often increases after each injection. Therefore a series of injections one to two weeks apart can typically offer more long-term pain relief.
Do nerve blocks work for patients with extreme chronic pain?
The combined treatments may help the patient achieve a substantially improved quality of life.