Nerve Block Therapy - Part 1
What is nerve block therapy?
Nerve block therapy is the term used to refer to a variety of outpatient surgical procedures which are intended for the relief of pain caused by bulging discs, bone spurs, nerve root compression, scar tissue and other conditions. These procedures involve an injection directly into the area of pain.
How does it work?
In most cases a combination of a local anesthetic and a cortisone drug (steroid) are injected into the area which is the root of the pain. Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medications which can act to reduce swelling and irritation in and around the affected nerve, thus alleviating the pain.
What are the different types of nerve block therapies?
Peripheral Nerve Block:
Involves injection of local anesthetics/steroid mixture into the painful areas (ie: peripheral nerves, trigger points, bursitis, tendonitis)
Central Nerve Block:
All central nerve blocks are performed under fluoroscopic guidance. (Examples Listed)
1) Epidural Steroid Injections – ESI’s involve injection of the steroid/anesthetic mixture into the space around the spinal cord, which is called the epidural space.
2) Sympathetic Nerve Blocks - This is an injection of anesthetic into the sympathetic chain to alleviate sympathetic pain in the head, neck, abdomen/pelvic and upper extremities.
3) Transforaminal Epidural Injections - The spinal nerve suspected to be the cause of the pain are located, and a steroid injection is given.
4) Facet Joint Injections - Injection of steriod is given directly into the facet joint with the intention of reducing inflammation.
5) Lysis of Epidural Adhesions w/Racz - Special Racz needle and catheter are used to break up epidural adhesions (scar tissue) and inject steroid into the epidural space.