Do you suffer from chronic pain that gets in the way of your day to day life? Do traditional chronic pain management methods not work for you? If this describes your situation, you may benefit from a procedure known as a sympathetic nerve block.
Schedule a consultation with your pain specialist to find out if this procedure is right for you. If so, you could be on your way to living life pain-free.
What are Sympathetic Nerve Blocks?
The sympathetic system is a collection of nerves that perform a role in bodily functions, such as sweating, heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. A sympathetic nerve block is a procedure that examines if your sympathetic nerves are conveying pain signals to other portions of your body.
A sympathetic nerve block benefits chronic pain management by administering pain relief in the form of blocking those pain signals. By generating a pain block, this procedure can enable you to go back to living your life the way you did before chronic pain.
What Types of Nerve Blocks are Available?
There are a few different sympathetic nerve blocks that a pain doctor can perform They are as follows:
1. Celiac Plexus Block
- A celiac plexus nerve block will determine if your celiac plexus of nerves, found in your abdomen, is transmitting pain signals from your stomach organ tissues back to your spinal cord and brain. Routine celiac plexus blocks can relieve chronic stomach pain.
2. Lumbar Nerve Block
- A lumbar nerve block settles whether nerves along the forward side of your spinal column are provoking painful symptoms like burning or swelling skin. If your pain doctor concludes that your lumbar nerves are the cause, a lumbar nerve block can render longterm alleviation from chronic nerve pain in the back.
3. Stellate Ganglion Block
- The stellate ganglion nerves are positioned in your neck, on each side of your voice box. These nerves can broadcast pain signals to your face and neck, inducing chronic pain conditions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and shingles. A consistent regimen of nerve blocks can alleviate symptoms of face and neck pain.
How Is a Sympathetic Nerve Block Procedure Performed?
You will meet with a chronic pain specialist, at your pain management clinic, experienced in administering nerve blocks. Your health care provider will ask what all the medicines you’re taking are, including vitamins and supplements, and if you have any allergies. It’s possible you may be asked to fast for approximately 6 hours prior to the procedure. The medical team may start an IV, or intravenous line, and observe your vital signs carefully. You could also be given some medicine through the IV to make you relaxed and sleepy.
Before the actual block, a local anesthetic will be administered to the area the block is being injected. X-rays may be used to aid the pain specialist in finding the right ganglion of nerves. Once the ganglion is located, it is blocked with a nerve block injection.
Start Living Pain-Free Once More
A sympathetic nerve block is a simple, safe procedure, that requires no downtime afterward, to help sufferers of chronic pain go back to living their normal lives. If you are dealing with chronic pain, contact your local pain management clinic and schedule a consultation to see if this procedure can help you.