A simple explanation of pain is that it is a signal that the brain produces in response to something discomforting. A nerve block can stop that signal to the brain which in turn reduces your symptoms of pain. Nerve blocks via an injection into the affected area can control pain while also helping to diagnose a condition.

Selective Nerve Root Block

Being able to determine the source of arm or leg pain can begin with a procedure called a Selective Nerve Root Block. This procedure involves the injection of a long-lasting steroid to reduce inflammation with numbing medication around specific nerve roots exiting the spinal column. A selective nerve root block is a diagnostic tool to determine the type of back pain you are having accurately and while temporary pain relief may occur during the procedure, it is not considered to be a treatment for pain.

Medial Branch Block

Facet joint syndrome can be diagnosed with the help of a medial branch block in which a physician will inject an anesthetic near small medial nerves connected to a specific facet joint. If you experience noticeable pain relief immediately after the injection, the physician may determine that the facet joint is the cause of your pain. If that noted pain relief occurs with a medial branch block, a treatment called medial branch radiofrequency neurotomy (or ablation) can be considered for long term pain relief.

Peripheral Nerve Block

Peripheral nerve blocks are most commonly used during surgery on the arms, hands, legs, feet, or face. A peripheral nerve block provides site-specific surgical anesthesia which reduces the need for general anesthesia and the common side effects of general anesthesia including nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. A peripheral nerve block can also reduce the need for oral narcotic medicines.

Stellate Ganglion Block

The stellate ganglion is a small group of nerves that carry nerve signals from the head, face, neck and arms. If pain is present in these areas a stellate ganglion block may be used to diagnose the cause of the pain so that a treatment plan can be formed. A stellate ganglion block is an injection with a local anesthetic in the front of the neck either on the right or left side. In some cases, this diagnostic tool may treat the pain itself and provide improved mobility in the upper portions of the body.

Lumbar Sympathetic Block

If you are experiencing pain or weakness in the lower back, legs or feet, a lumbar sympathetic block may be used to determine if the sympathetic nerves are causing that pain in the lower part of your spine. This type of injection is an important diagnostic tool to determine the exact issue and help develop a treatment plan. In some cases, however, the injections may also treat the inflammation and provide desired pain relief.

Celiac Plexus Block

Persons being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer often experience severe abdominal pain due to the pancreatic tumor pressing on a nerve bundle called the celiac plexus located in the upper abdomen. The celiac nerves connect the stomach, liver, pancreas, gall bladder and intestines to the spinal cord and brain. Common treatment for this pain is through opioids which have strong side effects. A celiac plexus block is a procedure that damages the celiac nerves so they cannot send pain messages to the brain. While a celiac plexus block can help a patient with this pain and reduce the need for pain medications, the block may not stop all pain.

Ganglion of Impar Block

The symptoms of chronic pelvic, tailbone or rectal pain can often be treated by a ganglion impar block which blocks nerve impulses. The ganglion impar block is an injection of a steroid medication with anesthesia to help reduce swelling, inflammation and pain. Based on a positive response to the initial injection, a continued series of injections may help to reverse the pain.

Sphenopalatine Ganglion Nerve Block

Different types of headaches, such as migraines clustered with facial pain, may be related to a small collection of nerve cells and fibers called the sphenopalatine ganglion. A sphenopalatine ganglion block is a short, minimally invasive procedure that uses a local anesthetic with steroids to prevent the signals from going through those nerves. Pain relief is often felt for several months after the procedure.

Trigeminal Nerve Block

Trigeminal neuralgia is a severely painful condition that causes sudden attacks of pain on one side of the face triggered by simple actions such as talking, eating, or even hair brushing. Trigeminal neuralgia can be caused by brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, or injury to the nerve from head, sinus or dental or sinus trauma. A trigeminal nerve block uses steroids with a local anesthetic to directly surround the trigeminal nerve root to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. Pain relief can last from four to eight weeks.