Nerve blocks manage or prevent pain by interrupting the communication between the nerves and the brain. They are most commonly used to treat pain in a specific area of the body, such as neck or back pain. A nerve block can be performed using various techniques but are often administered through injections.
Types of Nerve Blocks
Different types of nerve blocks may be used depending on the specific condition being treated. Nerve blocks can provide both temporary and long-term relief. Common types include:
Epidural Nerve Block
This type of nerve block is most often used to treat pain in the lower back, legs, and arms. It involves injecting a local anesthetic into the epidural space, which is the area around the spinal cord.
Facet Joint Nerve Block
A facet joint nerve block is used to treat pain in the spine’s joints. A local anesthetic is injected into the facet joints to block the nerves that carry pain signals to the brain.
How Does a Nerve Block Work
A nerve block may be used for surgical procedures, childbirth, and pain management. They are injected into or around the nerve that is causing pain.
During a nerve block procedure, a doctor will use an X-ray to guide the injection needle into a specific area. Once the needle is in place, a local anesthetic or steroid is injected. The medication works by numbing the nerves or reducing inflammation, which helps relieve pain.
In some cases, a nerve block may be used as a diagnostic tool to help identify your source of pain. In addition, if you are experiencing chronic pain, a nerve block may be an effective treatment option for you.