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Pain Management Blog



29Jun

How Nerve Blocks Work for Pain Management

Republic Pain Specialists are proud of our multimodal response to the pain our clients experience. The pain, in magnitude and cause, differs widely from person to person and the spectrum is vast. We wouldn’t be doing our community a service if we treated everyone’s pain exactly the same. In regards to nerve blocks, we have the experience, the training, and the expertise needed to know when to recommend their use, how to proceed, and what pain relief should look like.

About Nerve Blocks

A nerve block is almost exactly what it sounds like. By isolating the source of pain to a nerve or a portion of the spinal column, medical providers block all feeling or dull pain by injecting the area with medicine. The nerves act as complex roads in your body, transferring messages and information to organs, bones, and muscle groups. These messages include messages about pain, triggering a response from the brain. By halting the transfer of these messages, pain can be relieved. The most well known nerve block is an epidural, commonly used to assist laboring mothers from feeling the pain of childbirth. A nerve block can also relieve inflammation in some cases.

The Process

The method of nerve block varies greatly in regards to what is needed by the patient. In most cases, a localized anesthetic would be applied to numb the skin. Once that had taken effect, medicine would be injected in one of several places, specifically chosen to target the nerve associated with the pain the patient is feeling. This may be done with or without guided ultrasound to give extra precision for the person administrating the block.

What it Treats

Discussing nerve blocks is a great way to explain why looking at multiple pain relief options is so important. When we decide to offer a nerve block or a series of nerve blocks for a patient, we understand that our method is merely cutting the message that pain is present. This method doesn’t actually treat an underlying cause of pain. If we felt we could relieve pain by treating the actual source we would be better serving our patients in the long run. Some of the instances where a nerve block may be considered, outside of surgery, are in relieving some of the pain and inflammation from arthritis, in patients with chronic migraines, for patients with pain triggered from cancer while they are undergoing treatment, or a number of other types of pain.

Recovery Time

Recovery time varies widely depending on the type and the patient. Some nerve blocks begin to wear off immediately and pain or feeling returns shortly. Others feel the effects on a longer term, especially in regards to inflammation. According to Columbia Neurology, nerve blocks “can also offer longer-term relief, because some injections reduce irritation to the nerves and let them heal.” Each patient would benefit from recording their response to the nerve block to communicate with our team for a more effective treatment each time. Additionally, by discussing what your needs were, in regards to treating chronic pain or a pain that has been short-term, would adjust how we approached the nerve block from the initial time of treatment.

 

A nerve block may or may not be the best treatment for your pain, but our team at Republic Pain Specialists have options to manage and relieve pain. We know the debilitating effect pain can have on your life and we are equipped to help. Come see us or contact us today.

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