Nerve Block Injections

Nerve block injections are used to diagnose a pinched, compressed or inflamed nerve.  They can also be used to provide pain relief for chronic lower back and severe leg pain.  They are generally most effective when a single nerve or small group of nerves is causing pain.

Chronic Lower Back and Neck Pain

Nerve block injections can help patients with nerve damage or arthritic joint pain in the lower back and neck.

Herniated Disc

Injections can reduce pain caused by ruptured lateral discs.

Neuropathy

Nerve block injections can help a variety of neuropathic pain including eyelids and scalp (Ophthalmic), upper jaw (Maxillary), forehead (Supraorbital), nose and mouth (Sphenopalatine), shoulder (Plexus), shoulder/arm/hand, elbow and wrist (Brachial), abdominal (Celiac Plexus) and pelvic (Subarachnoid).

Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)

Nerve block injections can help trigeminal neuralgia; a common cause of intense, sharp, or stabbing facial pain.

The Procedure

Occasionally, a MRI image fails to reveal the nerve(s) causing pain and an injection is ordered to identify the pain’s location.  The injection includes an anti-inflammatory medication, a numbing agent and imaging agent (live x-ray) to ensure the medication is delivered to the correct location.  If the procedure is successful, it is inferred that the nerve(s) location was correctly identified.  Success rates can vary and the frequency is generally limited to 3 times per year.

Side Effects

Nerve blocks have risks and side effects including: elevated blood sugars, rashes, itching, weight gain, extra energy, soreness at the site of the injection, bleeding and in rare cases, death.  Since the injection is outside the spine, there is minimal to no risk of a wet tap (spinal fluid leakage).

As with any medical procedure, Nerve block injections are not appropriate for everyone. Please consult with your doctor to determine if this procedure is right for you.

Specialists

These doctors specialize in chronic pain management and can help diagnose, treat, and manage your condition.

Anesthesiologist

A doctor that administers medicine to put patients asleep during surgery, renders them numb for local procedures, or reduces chronic pain through injections.

 Physiatrist

A doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation that treats both acute and chronic pain with a variety of nonsurgical treatments.

 Neurosurgeon

A surgeon that diagnoses and treats pain resulting from disorders of the spine, spinal cord, nerves, brain, intracranial, and intraspinal vasculature.

To learn more about nerve block injections, please visit Spine Health or Web MD