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Nerve Blocks

Nerve Blocks

When a peripheral nerve is injured it commonly becomes a source of acute and chronic pain. In some causes a nerve block can help break this pain cycle and return a person back to their normal activities.

What is a nerve block?

A nerve block is the injection of local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication close to a pain sensitive nerve or group of nerves to block pain. This is usually done with ultrasound, fluoroscopic or electromyographic guidance for safety and accuracy. Often, we can pinpoint where the problem is and direct treatments to the specific pain generating region. They are also useful in determining the source of the pain (Diagnostic Block). Injection of anti-inflammatory medication in conjunction with local anesthetic may promote healing of damaged nerves. In some cases, nerve blocks can be used to avoid surgery.

The Different Types

  1. Therapeutic nerve blocks are used to treat painful conditions. Such nerve blocks contain local anesthetic that can be used to control acute pain.
  2. Diagnostic nerve blocks are used to determine sources of pain. These blocks typically contain an anesthetic with a known duration of relief.
  3. Sympathetic nerve block: is one that is performed to determine if there is damage to the sympathetic nerve chain. This is a network of nerves extending the length of the spine. These nerves control some of the involuntary functions of the body.
  4. Facet joint block: Also known as a zygapophysial joint block, the facet joint block is performed to determine whether a facet joint is a source of pain and to treat pain originating in the facet joints. Facet joints are located on the back of the spine, and provide stability and motion between each vertebra. The facet joint is a common source of pain.

The Procedure

A nerve block procedure is normally done on an outpatient basis and under. Fluoroscopic (X-ray) guidance for more accuracy and enhanced results. In some cause a mild sedative can be given but for most procedures local anesthetic is used to numb the area where you will receive your injection. You still may feel a minor pinch or some discomfort as the injection enters your skin. With the advanced imaging guidance Dr. Magaziner injects the medication into the pain sensitive region. After the procedure you’ll rest until the medication takes effect.

Safety

As with most procedures, this does involve some minor risks. The risk of injection is very low as the procedure is done is a sterile manner. There is an extremely low risk of injury to the nerves, and this is usually temporary. Therefore, nerve blocks are a safe alternative for pain relief.

Individual results may vary from patient to patient. For more information on nerve blocks, please contact our North Brunswick office.

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Learn more about the key pain treatments used by Dr. E. Magaziner:

Dr. Edward Magaziner has dedicated his career to helping people with pain, and musculoskeletal injuries. His focus is to use state of the art and innovative treatments to alleviate these problems. He is well known around the country in his field and is considered by many one of the top treating physicians in this region.