Diagnostic & therapeutic nerve blocks

About Diagnostic & Therapeutic Nerve Block

Nerve blocks are used for pain treatment and pain management. Often, a group of nerves will cause pain and swelling in a particular area that has been affected by trauma or a degenerative condition. This pain can be blocked with an injection of a regional anesthesia which is usually a steroid or opioid or a combination of the two. Nerve blocks provide longer lasting relief than local anesthetic.

Therapeutic nerve block: In a therapeutic nerve block, the injection works to block the nerve from signaling pain and to reduce swelling. This stops the pain signal from traveling up the nerve and to the brain where it is perceived. Once swelling is reduced, the nerve can begin to heal and the pain may improve over time or cease altogether. Nerve block injections may need to be repeated over a period of months for optimum relief.

Diagnostic nerve block: In a diagnostic nerve block, the injection is used to locate which nerves are responsible for the pain. The block involves numbing a specific nerve or nerve group that is likely causing the patient’s pain. Our doctors are experts in anatomy and are highly skilled in noting the location of pain-carrying nerves. This is important because pain originating from different areas of the body requires a nerve block injection in a very specific location.

A local anesthetic is injected in small doses into the target nerves. The patient is then evaluated for any change in pain symptoms. If a nerve is numbed and the patient experiences significant pain relief, the location of the source of the pain is most likely confirmed. If the patient notes no change, the physician may conclude that the painful nerve is in a different location. The injection will be attempted in a new location until the source of the pain is identified.

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