A nerve block, or neural blockade, is a method of producing anesthesia — a loss of feeling used to prevent or control pain. Nerve blocks can be surgical or nonsurgical.

Nonsurgical nerve blocks involve injection of a medication around a specific nerve or a bundle of nerves. The medication prevents the nerves’ impulses from reaching the central nervous system (CNS) and making you feel pain. Instead, that part of your body will feel numb, or you might feel a “pins and needles” sensation.

Surgical nerve blocks involve deliberately cutting or destroying specific nerves to prevent them from sending out impulses to the CNS.

A nerve block can last anywhere from 12 to 36 hours depending on the type used. Surgical nerve blocks may be permanent.

A nerve block may be used as the sole form of pain relief or combined with another type of anesthetic.


  • What is a Sympathetic Nerve Block?

    A sympathetic nerve block is a pain management treatment that involves the injection of a local anesthetic and a steroid medication into the sympathetic nerves, which are located along the spine. With these injections, nerve signals in the sympathetic nerves are blocked. This will soothe any inflammation and produce long-lasting pain relief. Sympathetic nerve blocks are often used to treat complex regional pain syndrome and other pain conditions that originate in the sympathetic nerves.

  • What is the Sympathetic Nerve Block Treatment Like?

    The first step of the sympathetic nerve block treatment is applying a local anesthetic to the treatment area. This helps to relieve any discomfort that may occur during the injection process. Once the treatment area is numbed, a needle will be carefully inserted into the sympathetic nerves, which are located along the front of the spine. This area will be accessed from your back, as you are lying face-down. After the needle is in place, the injection will be performed. This treatment is typically completed in less than an hour. After treatment, you may notice some minor swelling or bruising at the injection site, but these effects usually fade within a few days.

  • What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Sympathetic Nerve Block?

    After your sympathetic nerve block treatment, you will notice immediate pain relief due to the local anesthetic that is injected. This will wear off in a few hours, and pain may return briefly. The medication will take effect within a few days, soothing inflammation and blocking nerve signals so that you can enjoy long-lasting pain relief. The results from your sympathetic nerve block can last between several weeks and several months. The exact duration of these results will vary, so we will help you determine the kind of results that you can expect during your initial visit.

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