What Is a Nerve Block and How Can It Help Me

If you have severe or chronic pain, you’re not alone. Approximately 50 million men and women experience chronic pain. 20 million live with pain so debilitating it limits their work or quality of life. But solutions are available. The secret to finding the best results is understanding the source of your pain. That way, you can identify the most effective treatment possible. 

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our experienced team takes a comprehensive approach to pain management and offers many nonsurgical solutions, including nerve blocks. But, what is this interventional pain injection, and is it right for you? Here’s what you need to know.

When to consider a nerve block

A nerve block relieves pain by treating the nerve irritation and inflammation-causing your symptoms. Pain conditions associated with nerve problems often include:

Nerve blocks can even provide significant pain relief after surgery or if you have cancer. We also use this interventional pain management technique as a diagnostic tool to identify the exact cause of your symptoms.

How nerve blocks work

There are different kinds of nerve blocks, including peripheral nerve blockades, cervical medial branch blocks, and epidural injections. After diagnosing the cause of your pain, we can tell you which nerve block might provide the best results for you. 

During a nerve block, we deliver precise amounts of pain-relievers, anti-inflammatories, or a combination of both directly to your inflamed nerve. This approach treats the specific nerve receptors sending pain signals to your brain. They can also provide long-term relief because they treat inflammation, helping your irritated nerves heal.

At our practice, we take a comprehensive approach to pain management. That means your nerve block might be part of a larger treatment plan, like physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, or osteopathic manipulation.

What to expect when you have a nerve block

We perform nerve blocks as an outpatient procedure, and you can go home the same day. Because of the precise nature of nerve blocks, we often use a special X-ray to deliver your injection. This tool, known as fluoroscopy, helps us locate the nerves requiring treatment and guide the thin needle into place with greater accuracy. 

To keep you comfortable during your nerve block, we use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment site and administer a mild medication to help you relax. When we deliver your nerve block medication, you have to have to remain completely still. You should only feel a slight pressure at this point in the procedure. 

Depending on the type of nerve block you receive, you can expect to see results immediately or within two to three days. If we used steroid medication, your symptoms will continue to improve in the weeks or months to come. We might recommend more than one injection to provide longer-term pain relief and help your nerve fully heal. 

To see if a nerve block can manage your chronic or severe pain, contact us and schedule an appointment today.

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