Overview & Procedure
A peripheral nerve block is an interventional therapy for patients suffering from headaches, neuropathy, pelvic pain, and other focal nerve pain syndromes. A nerve block can also be used as a diagnostic tool to help identify the source of pain. If the nerve block relieves the patient’s pain, a Southwest Spine and Pain physician will discuss further treatment options as indicated.
During this procedure, the patient is given a local anesthetic to numb the injection site. The physician then inserts a needle into the affected area to deliver an anesthetic and steroid solution right to the damaged nerves. The solution prevents the nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. Because a local anesthetic was administered shortly before the procedure, patients should not feel pain from the injection. However, they may feel a slight pressure near the injection site. Generally, the procedure should only take a couple of minutes to complete.
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. Patients may experience pain relief immediately after the procedure. This is due to the local anesthetic, which is a numbing medication. As the anesthetic begins to wear off, the patient may experience slight aches and pains. Our physicians advise rest for about 24 hours after the peripheral nerve block. Strenuous activities may need to be avoided for several days after the procedure. If a steroid solution is used, it should provide the patient with temporary pain relief a few days after the initial injection. Complications are rare, but if patients notice any signs of an infection, rash, or fever, we strongly encourage them to come into Southwest Spine and Pain Center. Peripheral nerve blocks may be repeated if necessary. If the pain relief from a peripheral nerve block is only short term the patient may consider a peripheral nerve stimulator as a more permanent treatment.