A nerve block injection reduces swelling or stops pain along a particular nerve distribution. Your physician may utilize imaging guidance to direct the needle to the most favorable location. A nerve block can help figure out the exact cause of pain, temporarily relieve pain, and let a damaged nerve heal.
Uses of the Procedure
Nerve block injections may temporarily relieve those suffering from acute or chronic pain. This kind of pain usually starts in the spine but can also start in the legs, neck, arms, or buttocks.
They also allow a damaged nerve to recuperate from a condition of constant pain. Furthermore, nerve blocks may give diagnostic information to the clinician. They enable the doctor to determine the cause of your suffering and design a treatment plan. An anesthesiologist may perform nerve blocks before surgery to lessen postoperative discomfort.
What Should I Do To Prepare for the Injection?
A nerve block seldom needs any particular preparation. You may be required to wear a robe throughout the process. Before the procedure, the physician will most likely request that you use the toilet. You might lie on your side, back, or stomach, depending on the nerve block utilized.
The injection location will be accessed using a tiny needle inserted into the skin. A modest quantity of contrast material might be used to ensure that the needle has been properly positioned if required. The medication will be administered using a normal immunization syringe.
The physician will administer medicine into the syringe. They will prescribe medicine based on your unique requirements. Extra tools will be all around you if imaging guidance is being utilized.
How is the Process Carried Out?
This treatment is usually performed as an outpatient. However, some people may need hospitalization after the treatment. Consult your doctor if you need to be hospitalized.
A nerve block is often administered just before surgery. It takes just a few minutes to deliver a nerve block. For the doctor to reach the injection site, you’ll need to lie on a flat surface.
The doctor will decide where to place the needle based on palpation and imaging results. They will apply an antibacterial solution to clean the area. They will inject the needle to a precise depth to get the medicine near the damaged nerve. Before giving the patient their medicine, the doctor might inject a contrast material to ensure the needle is in the right place.
Several shots may be necessary. This is determined by the number and size of your painful spots. Most likely, the doctor will tell you when the needle is in and the process is done.
After that, you’ll be able to relax for about 15–30 minutes to allow the drug to take effect. Before you leave the doctor’s office, the nurse will also ensure you don’t have any unpleasant side effects.
How Does the Technique Work?
The medicine will be administered as near to the painful nerve as feasible. It will then “switch off” the sensory receptors within the affected nerve(s). The injection’s effects are usually instant. The medication begins to ease the pain immediately. Nerve blocks, on the other hand, are just a temporary solution.
Depending on the medicine’s composition, local anesthetics may persist for many hours or days. Because of their prolonged half-lives and delayed onset, steroids may give weeks or months of relief. Your symptoms may return to normal between the time the local anesthetic stops and the onset of the steroids’ effects.
Furthermore, although most patients will have relief, some may need many nerve blocks before long-term relief. Some individuals may never feel better due to this and may need extra therapy to manage their problems.
What are the Effects?
As the physician inserts the needle, you should feel a “pinch.” However, after the drug has taken effect, your discomfort should lessen. To reach the problematic nerve, the doctor occasionally puts the needle deeply. You may find this unpleasant, but if you do not move, the doctor will be unable to place the needle appropriately.
If you need medication near a major nerve or nerve cluster, your doctor will encourage you to notify them if you experience intense discomfort. Because the needle is too close to a major nerve, it must be withdrawn and repositioned. There’s no need to be concerned since this doesn’t happen very frequently. You will most likely experience some pain alleviation in the injected location. This may last a few weeks to several months, or even forever.
Who Will Explain the Results?
A radiologist or another pain management professional will provide the injection. The medical practitioner who administered the injection will assess your condition later on. They can also decide if additional medical treatment is necessary. There is no need for further interpretation of any imaging performed during the procedure.
Advantages of Nerve Blocks
• Reduces brief discomfort
• A short-term decrease in inflammation surrounding the painful nerve’s site
• It could assist the doctor in determining the specific reason for pain
• Improved capacity to do everyday duties without the limitations that pain previously imposed
Disadvantages of Nerve Blocks
• Infection at the site of injection
• Loss of blood
• Inadvertent drug intake into the bloodstream
• Medication might spread to unexpected nerves or the spinal canal
What Limitations Do Nerve Blocks Impose?
The temporary alleviation from a nerve block injection may not last long. Although each patient is different, nerve blocks are often given in a series. They’ll then be subsequently discontinued based on efficacy. Even if the medication is administered correctly, the patient may not experience any effects for some time or may need to repeat the session.
If a nerve block fails to alleviate your pain, your physician will likely suggest an alternative treatment. If you have any more questions, please contact Pain Doctors Brooklyn, New York.