Nerve blocks are injections of medication that stop your nerves from sending pain messages back to your brain. Nerve blocks use several medications, including:
A local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, can completely numb the injection site for several hours.
Neurolytics, like alcohol or phenol, damage part of the nerve's pathway, stopping it from working.
Nerve blocks may contain steroids — powerful anti-inflammatory drugs.
Nerve blocks always contain a local anesthetic. Depending on why you're having a nerve block injection, yours might also contain a neurolytic or steroid.
Nerve blocks have two important uses:
Your Pain Specialists of Oregon provider uses nerve blocks to help them diagnose your condition. By blocking the messages from specific nerves, they can locate the source of your pain. Your provider is likely to perform diagnostic nerve blocks in conjunction with nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and electromyogram (EMG) studies.
A nerve block injection provides swift relief from pain. The local anesthetic blocks pain completely, but only for a short while. The other ingredient in your nerve block injection — the steroid or neurolytic — is longer-lasting but is less effective at masking all your pain.
In many cases, people who have a nerve block injection find that their pain doesn't come back as severely after the anesthetic wears off. That could be due to the act of interrupting the constancy of pain, known as breaking the cycle of pain.
Pain Specialists of Oregon has nerve blocks to suit every need. Examples include stellate ganglion blocks for pain in the head, neck, arm, and chest and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), as well as:
These last three nerve block injections reduce pelvic pain.
Facet nerve blocks are injections into the small facet joints in your spine. These joints give your spinal column stability and help your back to move smoothly. Like other joints, the facets have a layer of cartilage for protection, which can wear away over time.
That results in painful osteoarthritis in the facet joints. A facet nerve block can help identify the exact facet joints affected as well as offer relief from your pain.
The Pain Specialists of Oregon team administers your nerve block using fluoroscopy or ultrasound imaging. That ensures the perfect needle placement.
To find out if a nerve block could help you, call Pain Specialists of Oregon today or book an appointment online.