Nerve Block Treatment

What are Nerve blocks?

There are several types of nerve blocks that are used to treat and manage pain.

Therapeutic nerve blocks can be used to temporarily control pain. This is generally achieved by injecting a combination of local anesthetic, such as Lidocaine or Bupivacaine, and steroid onto or near the nerves that are believed to be causing your pain. The steroid will help reduce any inflammation in this area and relief from this procedure can last anywhere from days to over a year depending on your condition.

Nerve blocks can also be used for diagnostic purposes, such as determining if one would benefit from a facet rhizotomy (see below). By injecting a local anesthetic, like Lidocaine or Bupivacaine, the nerves that are believed to be causing pain are put “to sleep”. This injection acts in a similar way to the anesthetic that a dentist uses to numb your mouth prior to dental work. Although the relief is temporary, a series of successful nerve blocks provide a good indication that longer lasting relief from the rhizotomy will be successful.

Both diagnostic and therapeutic nerve blocks are provided using sterile technique and performed under live x-ray (fluoroscopy). The patient can also choose to receive mild sedation, with the approval of their physician, in order to help ease the discomfort and/or anxiety of the procedure.