Nerve blocks are a popular treatment option for chronic pain, including back pain and nerve-related conditions such as sciatica. They work by interrupting the signal between the brain and the area of the body where the pain is originating, such as your arm or leg. Specialists apply nerve blocks in Austin to help patients cope with different types of pain.
What is a nerve block?
Sometimes conventional medications like prescription pills and over-the-counter drugs often fail to treat chronic pain. In this case, your doctor may recommend a nerve block that decreases your body’s overall sensitivity to pain and allows you to experience improved comfort levels as you go about your daily activities.
A nerve block is an anesthetic injection that targets specific nerves in your body to relieve pain. Subsequently, the drug numbs a single nerve or a group of nerves so that it no longer carries painful signals to your brain. These injections work well if you suffer from chronic pain caused by damaged nerves, arthritis, or fractures on your back or neck.
Are nerve blocks safe?
A nerve block procedure is a minimally invasive way to ease the pain. The procedure is generally short, does not involve surgery, and there is no need for hospitalization.
Nerve blocks are typically safe, and their benefits usually outweigh the potential risks, but sometimes complications may occur. It is essential to talk to your doctor about possible complications before the treatment.
The common side effect that you may experience includes tenderness in and around the injection site, headache or dizziness, and muscle weakness. However, these are short-term and will go away within two weeks. In some instances, these may last longer, and so you should contact your doctor immediately.
More severe side effects can occur if you have had an allergic reaction to the drug used in nerve blocks. These may include trouble breathing and swelling around your face or throat. Some people report wheezing and sensitivity around the fingers and toes.
Another side effect is pain around your injection site which can vary depending on the severity of the problem or pain.
How long does it take to experience relief from pain?
Some people achieve instant pain relief after the administration of the medication. However, for others, the nerve block mainly fixes the pain for a short while, thus requiring more sessions after every one or two weeks. Your doctor stops the treatment as soon as you experience long-term relief.
What to expect during a nerve block procedure
Your doctor first assesses your medical history before recommending the treatment to rule out any existing condition that may jeopardize its effectiveness.
During the appointment, the doctor positions you on the side or stomach on the ultrasound table. Through X-ray guidance or fluoroscopy, the specialist accesses the injection area to administer the nerve block drug. Usually, you may receive a sedative in the arm to ease tension or nervousness.
Nerve block has proven to be effective in relieving chronic pain. You can contact the specialists at Republican Spine and Pain who will assess your condition and recommend nerve block treatment.