Inteventional Medicine is a subspecialty of pain management which uses techniques including facet injections, nerve block injections and physical therapy to treat painful disorders and injuries such as nerve blocks and median branch blocks.
What is a Nerve Block?
The treatment of nerves that are pinched or damaged is called a Nerve Block. The site of injury is injected with medication (local anesthetics and strong anti-inflammatories like cortisone).
What are Nerve Block Injections?
Nerves can be pinched/injured in the back, neck, arms and/or legs. Once the site of injury has been established, using a fine needle, the doctor injects a small amount of medication that will numb the area and treat the injury. A series of three blocks at one-week intervals are usually needed to treat the injured nerve.
How do Nerve Block Injections feel?
The patient feels a pinprick at the site of injection. The medication is mixed with local anesthetic that numbs the area. A Warm sensation is felt as the medication is released around the nerve. After the injection the area feels numb and the pain subsides.
How long will it take?
This procedure is done at the doctor’s office. You can expect to be at the office 30-60 minutes depending on the location and number of nerves to be blocked. The doctor will need to review some information with you before starting the procedure, then you will be asked to change into a gown and lay down on the exam table.
Are there any restrictions after the Nerve Block Injection?
Ideally, you should rest for 24-48 hours after the nerve block injection. You will be given a doctor’s work release note for your employer, if needed.
How effective are these injections?
These injections are very effective. Most people have significant pain relief once the blocks are completed. The reduction of pain produced by the injections allows for better mobility and function. Often the doctor will recommend combining other treatments with nerve block injections, such as, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Patients that are in severe pain will find that nerve blocks decrease their pain to a level where they can tolerate their therapy program.
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