Pain in certain areas may benefit from a nerve block. Doctors also use it to diagnose certain nerve pain to identify the source. There are dozens of nerve blocks that doctors can do, but in general, they use a local anesthetic to make you comfortable and then guide a needle using an X-ray or ultrasound to get the medicine to the specific area causing the pain. There are many advantages to this procedure.
1- Effective Pain Relief
When the source of your pain is a nerve, this procedure is usually effective at relieving your pain. Even if it does not completely eliminate it, it will usually make a noticeable difference. Your doctor may recommend a nerve block for chronic and acute pain, as well as the pain that occurs after certain surgical procedures. It is also ideal for conditions like sciatica, neuropathy, and chronic migraines. The injections can last for several weeks or months. In some cases, people report relief from their pain for a year or longer. Once the effects start to wear off, you can usually get another nerve block to alleviate your pain again.
2- Targeted Pain Management
Many people experience nerve pain related to a specific nerve. The pain can be widespread and radiate from the source, but targeting the specific nerve can alleviate the source of your pain, and in turn, the pain that spreads from it. Your doctor can use a nerve block to diagnose the nerve in question. Then, once the effects wear off, you can get repeated injections to maintain the relief from your pain. How often you can get injections is individualized and your doctor will create a plan for you.
3- Minimally Invasive
This is a procedure, but it is minimally invasive. Your doctor only needs to use two needles during the procedure. They will use a smaller needle to inject the local anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the process. The next needle is a bit larger and used to inject the medicine to block the nerve. This could be a corticosteroid alone or combined with other medicines to aid in pain relief. Due to it being minimally invasive, the recovery time is short, and the pain afterward is usually minimal.
4- Reduced Medication Need
While there are effective pain medicines, they do come with the risk of numerous side effects. You also have to take them on a schedule to maintain relief from your pain. There is also the chance that the medicines may not be as effective over time. With nerve blocks, you get an alternative that allows you to reduce your reliance on daily medicines. This is especially ideal if you take opioids regularly since in addition to side effects, they also pose the risk of addiction.
Nerve blocks are a very common procedure. These injections do not take long, and you can go home shortly after. Your doctor can also use them on many different parts of your body to provide pain relief. Talk to your doctor to see if they are a viable choice for your pain management.