Peripheral nerve blocks are a form of regional anesthesia and refer to the numbing of part of the body with an injection of local anesthetic. This medication is very effective for pain management because it blocks the message of pain that the nerve is trying to send to the brain. A peripheral nerve block is administered by injecting an anesthetic near the nerve group that controls sensation to the area where pain is occurring. The injection temporarily numbs the area and provides pain relief to the patient for 4 to 6 hours, and in some cases, up to several days.
Peripheral nerve blocks may be used by your physician as a course of treatment to help avoid surgery or other more invasive treatment options. When used prior to surgery, peripheral nerve blocks are performed on patients undergoing many types of surgical procedures, such as joint replacement, shoulder or upper arm surgeries, hernia surgeries near the groin, neck surgery, and low back surgery.
Medial Branch Nerve
Medial branch blocks are used to diagnose and manage pain in the facet joints.
The facet joints connect the vertebrae in the spine. Facet injections are used to treat chronic neck and back pain associated with arthritic or thickened facet joints and to reduce the inflammation and swelling of the tissue in and around the area.
Some patients experience mild soreness and aching in the muscles around the location of the injection. Additional relief often follows 2 to 4 days after the procedure. If the effects are not long lasting but a patient experiences at least 80% pain relief temporarily, the patient may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about medial branch blocks the physicians at Cedar Hill Pain and Rehab can help determine a treatment plan that works for you and improves your quality of life.
Stellate Ganglion Block
The stellate ganglion is a nerve bundle of the sympathetic nervous system in the neck that provides sensory information to the arms.
Stellate ganglion block is a procedure wherein your physician injects medication directly into the nerve bundle in the neck, under x-ray guidance. Stellate blocks can help your physician diagnose pain – if the pain is lessened or alleviated; you know the cause of the pain and have a successful treatment option.
These blocks can treat pain related to:
- Sensory issues in the arms
- Trauma or injury to the nerve group
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Post-Herpetic neuralgia
- Facial Pain
The in-office procedure involves minimal discomfort. Patients often feel immediate and complete relief of pain that last several hours due to the local anesthetic administered during the injection. Full effect should be experienced with a few days. If there is no relief from the pain, your physician will test for other conditions that may present similar symptoms.
If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain or symptoms as described above and interested in learning more, the physicians at Cedar Hill Pain and Rehab can help determine a treatment plan that works for you and improves your quality of life.
The sympathetic ganglion consists of the sympathetic nerves that originate in the lumbar spine and spread out through the legs.
Sympathetic nerve blocks can help control and manage chronic pain caused by:
- Pain from blood vessel spasms
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Raynaud’s syndrome
The location of the nerve block depends on the type of pain. If pain is affecting areas of the lower body and lower extremities, a nerve block administered in the lower back is more effective.