Archive for "August, 2019"

Is Pain Worse After Nerve Blocks? 6 Factors to Know About Nerve Blocks

Pain Management Aug 16, 2019 No Comments

People may feel some hesitation when it comes to trying nerve blocks to help with pain management. Will it possibly make your pain worse after nerve blocks are administered? 

If you are suffering from pain, then you are likely willing to try any safe procedures to try and eliminate that pain. Whether your pain is from an injury, an autoimmune disorder, arthritis or some nerve related issue, finding a resolution is a priority.

Working with your pain management specialist, you may create a treatment plan that involves nerve blocking. This procedure can have dual uses:

  • One is to identify the source of the nerve pain
  • The other is to alleviate the nerve pain

Nerve blocks can also be used to help eliminate causes of pain. For instance, if your doctor numbs nerve endings but your pain persists, you can know that area is not the source of your pain.


What Are Nerve Blocks?

These injections have been found to help many people have more functioning and higher quality of life. Many, before receiving injections, are afraid the pain will be worse after nerve blocks. The answer to this question is complex and depends on many individualized factors.

However, for most, they offer pain relief that other treatment methods have been unable to do.

Keep reading to learn 6 factors about nerve blocks, including if pain is worse post-nerve block procedure.


1. Different Types of Nerve Blocks

There are several nerve block procedures, each with a specific goal, to offer you pain relief. However, they do so in different ways:

  • Selective nerve root injections are used to reduce inflammation of the spinal nerve. An injection is made at the root of the nerve to deaden the nerves following that path.
  • Radial nerve blocks focus on treating nerves in the hand and arm.
  • Femoral nerves run from the spine all the way down your legs.
  • Femoral nerve blocks go into the groin area to treat the area causing irritation.

These blocks are done with guided ultrasound equipment, making it quick and simple for doctors to complete the procedures.

In addition:

  • Local nerve blocks are done by injecting a local anesthetic to a nerve area. Epidurals are good examples of local nerve blocks. They are usually temporary sources of pain relief.
  • Neurolytic blocks are used to treat chronic pain symptoms. Your doctor uses alcohol or a freezing agent. This block is not used for ordinary pain relief. Because it causes damage to the nerve pathway, it is typically reserved for more serious conditions.
  • Surgical nerve blocks make it possible for surgeons to remove damaged nerves or to allow the doctor to damage specific areas in order to stop pain. This technique has permanent affects and is also reserved for the more serious conditions.


2. Benefits of Nerve Blocks

There is one major benefit of nerve blocks, it relieves pain. It is the painful conditions that can be treated with a nerve block that makes this procedure advantageous.

Nerve blocks can be used during childbirth to alleviate labor and delivery pain without harming the infant. They can be administered after surgeries to get rid of any pain associated with the surgery itself.

Furthermore, nerve blocks can ease:

  • Cancer-related pain
  • Arthritis
  • Lower back pain
  • Headaches
  • More serious conditions such as chronic regional pain syndrome

Additional conditions treated by nerve blocks include shingles, herniated disks, and remarkably, phantom pain after an amputation.


3. Nerve Block Procedure

Performing a nerve block will usually take less than half an hour. The doctor simply numbs the area where the needle will be inserted. Using an ultrasound, the doctor moves the needle to the site that needs treatment. Once there, anesthetic medication is released.

You will then be allowed to rest for a while before being discharged.


4. Reasons to Get a Nerve Block

Alleviating pain is the main reason to have a nerve block procedure. But there are other things a nerve block can help resolve. For instance, they can help your doctor determine the source of your pain.

If your doctor is providing long-term treatment to you for a serious medical condition, he or she can use a nerve block to determine how anesthetics will respond, how well it will meet your pain-relieving needs.

Nerve blocks are often used during surgeries, both major and minor. Some people feel pain from the incisions made during a surgery. Nerve blocks can help ease this pain. Other surgeries are small and need a brief period of pain relief for the patient. Nerve blocks provide this relief.

Conditions such as cancer are treated with nerve blocks when other medicines are not working. Some pain-relieving agents cause vomiting, nausea and other negative side effects. Some pain medicines just do not work. In these cases, nerve blocks are used.

Is The Pain Worse After Nerve Blocks? Here's 6 Factors to Know - CPMC


5. How Long Do Nerve Blocks Last?

The amount of pain relief you receive from a nerve block depends on the type of procedure you had, whether your condition is temporary or chronic, and your own body. As with many other things, nerve block results can vary among individuals.

Most patients report relief for several hours, some report relief for several days. For those with chronic pain conditions, doctors may use nerve blocks that last up to a year. In some cases, doctors can insert a pump that will release anesthetic as needed, based on your needs.

Nerve blocks are made to treat temporary pain. This means that once the nerve block wears off, you should notice a decrease in pain at the original source, and no longer feel the need for the nerve block.


6. Is Pain Worse After Nerve Blocks?

For most, pain after a nerve block fades. Everyone may have a different recovery. Some may feel soreness at the site of the injection, others may experience swelling that can compress the nerves and cause pain for a little while longer. But this pain is temporary.

These symptoms should subside over a short period, allowing you to get back to living a fully functional life.

There are no complete guarantees with nerve blocks. However, feedback regarding the success of nerve blocks is encouraging.


Contact Us for Nerve Block Injections and Pain Management - Comprehensive Pain Management Center


Comprehensive Pain Management Center