It’s often difficult to treat chronic pain with a single therapy. Sometimes, such as with forms of arthritis, the problem causing the pain can’t be cured and gets worse over time. In other cases, the original problem heals but pain signals linger, even when there’s no sign of physical cause.
Each of these cases may be ideal for a nerve block, a way to alter the pain signals delivered to your brain, effectively “shutting off” or blocking the pain.
You can discuss nerve blocks with interventional pain management physician Edward Carden, MD. Dr. Carden develops personalized pain management plans that are right for you and your condition, including nerve blocks when they apply.
Nerve block basics
A nerve block involves injecting medication near the site where pain originates, usually the neck or lower back. The anesthetic medication blocks the pain signals sent through nerve tissue to the brain. A damaged or irritated nerve can send ongoing pain signals, resulting in chronic pain.
Nerve blocks also reduce inflammation, which may provide a jump-start to healing in the treatment area. A nerve block can also aid Dr. Carden in diagnosing the source of your chronic pain by monitoring how you respond.
Pain relief response
Every patient responds to nerve blocks in their own way. Some patients obtain significant relief from a single injection, while others need a series of injections. Pain relief may last from days to weeks. In some cases, the relief can last longer.
Each case is different, and Dr. Carden can give you a better estimate after an evaluation.
What to expect
Your nerve block is an outpatient procedure, often with immediate results. Your provider uses a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area and, if needed, a mild sedative to ease any anxiety or if the site is sensitive.
The primary injection is placed close to the suspected nerve. You may need multiple injections depending on how many areas are causing you pain. When the injections are complete, you rest for up to 30 minutes while the anesthetic effect begins.
Nerve blocks are frequently combined with other therapies to manage chronic pain. If your pain responds well to the block, the procedure can, in most cases, be repeated as you need it. Dr. Carden customizes every pain management plan to meet the circumstances of your condition.
To schedule a pain management consultation, call the office of Edward Carden, MD, in Sherman Oaks, California, or book your appointment online today. There’s an answer to your chronic pain, and nerve blocks may be just what you need.