Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve Blocks

Overview & Procedure 

Lumbar Sympathetic nerve blocks are minimally invasive injections that are used to relieve pain caused by complex regional pain syndrome, shingles, peripheral neuropathy, arterial insufficiency, phantom limb pain, and other causes of neuropathic pain of the lower extremities.  

This procedure is typically performed under sedation. After the sedation is initiated, the physician will numb the skin to ensure the procedure is comfortable. Once the anesthetic has taken effect fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance will be used to insert a thin needle into the back next to the spine where the lumbar sympathetic nerves are located. After correct needle placement is confirmed, the medication is injected to decrease pain.  

After Care 

Immediately after the procedure, patients are sent to a separate room to recover. During this time, the patient’s vitals are monitored for any signs of an adverse reaction. Typically, patients resume full activity the next day. Soreness around the injection site may be relieved by using ice and taking a mild analgesic. Pain relief from a Lumbar Sympathetic block typically lasts weeks to months and can be repeated.  Complications are rare, but if patients notice any signs of an infection, rash, or fever, we strongly encourage them to come to Southwest Spine and Pain Center.