A nerve block is a procedure intended to relieve pain by interrupting the signals that travel along a nerve. Nerve blocks can be used in multiple scenarios for pain management. They are usually considered as an option for treating back discomfort after medication and therapy have been completed, but before surgery is offered. There are short-term blocks as well as some that may last from a few weeks to a lifetime, all depending on the course of treatment. These blocks can be a very useful and effective means of pain management in patients suffering from certain conditions.
If you suffer from chronic back discomfort in Los Angeles and might be considering a nerve block for symptom relief, please contact our Los Angeles spinal specialists today!
What Is A Spinal Nerve Block?
Nerve blocks can be performed by injecting a medication or anesthesia into an area, or by purposely cutting or removing certain sections of a nerve. If chronic pain is caused by nervous dysfunction, a doctor can use diagnostic nerve blocks to help locate the exact area that is causing the pain in a patient. Blocks can also be used to treat neuropathic pain, which is often caused by compression of the spinal cord or nerve damage. Back and neck pain due to spinal stenosis and herniated discs are regularly treated with a block. Depending on the condition and the individual case, the relief provided by the block may be temporary or permanent.
Spinal nerve blocks are used for a variety of reasons to control pain. There are different types of blocks used for different purposes. Some of these purposes include:
- Diagnostic – Used to determine the source of a patients pain. These contain a time-specific anesthetic
- Therapeutic – Used to treat acute pain. They contain a local anesthetic
- Preemptive – Used to prevent pain ahead of time. Can be used in order to avoid pain associated with an upcoming procedure.
- Prognostic – Used to ascertain whether or not a future procedure would be successful. Can be used in order to predict outcomes of certain surgical treatments.
Learn more about nerve blocks by visiting WebMD.
Types of Treatment
There are three common types of nerve blocks that are used depending on the situation. These three are:
- Local – Done by injecting a local anesthetic into a certain area. Local nerve blocks are most commonly temporary, though they can be reapplied over time.
- Epidural – An epidural is a type of local block that can be used to treat chronic back pain. It is performed by injecting steroids or pain medication directly into the area surrounding the spinal cord.
- Neurolytic – Utilizes certain chemicals to help control chronic nerve pain. The intention of this block is to cause damage to certain parts of the nerve. The neurolytic block is only used in cases of severe chronic pain when other methods are ineffective.
- Surgical – This type of block involves removing or cutting of certain parts of the nerve in order to eliminate pain. Most of the time, surgical nerve blocks are permanent, so they are only performed in severe cases.
Nerve blocks can be a good option for eliminating chronic nerve pain, but are not always the best option in certain situations. It is also important to note that while nerve blocks can be successful in reducing pain, most blocks are often only a temporary solution to the problem. Additionally, not all cases of chronic spinal pain are treatable with nerve blocks. Therefor it is important to discuss all available treatment options with an expert physician. Other minimally-invasive methods that can be considered include:
- Disc Replacement Surgery
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
- Percutaneous Discectomy
- MILD Procedure
- Percutaneous Foraminotomy
- Interspinous Process Fusion
- Interspinous Process Decompression
Chronic nerve pain can be a debilitating condition. However, you don’t have to suffer through it. Nerve blocks can be a great treatment option for controlling the pain associated with spinal conditions. If you are suffering from chronic nerve pain in Los Angeles, call one of our spine doctors at ProMed SPINE today. Even if a block isn’t the best option, our doctors will develop the best possible course of treatment for your individual case.
The expert spine doctors at ProMed SPINE offer the advantage of expansive experience. They have extensive training with the whole spectrum of treatment options, not just the minimally-invasive types. As surgeons capable of performing a host of procedures for the back, head, and neck, their incredibly thorough understanding of the nervous system makes them the top choice for patients seeking treatment.
Contact a Los Angeles Spine Surgeon
The team of board-certified neurosurgeons at ProMed SPINE take pride in offering the most sophisticated technology and cutting-edge minimally invasive spine procedures to provide the highest quality of care for our patients. To schedule an initial consultation, please contact us today!
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