Nerve Blocks For Pain
I’m Ed Smith, a Davis auto accident attorney. There are multiple types of nerve blocks commonly used on patients to reduce pain following a traumatic injury. Below, I am going to go over the different types of nerve blocks and how they can be useful treatment options following an auto accident injury.
What is a Nerve Block?
A nerve block is an injection procedure frequently performed on patients to reduce their discomfort by disrupting the pain signals sent to the brain.
Facet Joint Blocks
The facet joint nerve block is a diagnostic procedure used to determine if the facet joints are the cause of a patient’s pain. With this procedure, steroids are injected into the surrounding areas of the facet joints. The physician uses this technique to get a better idea of the location causing the discomfort. If the patient has no pain relief, other causes will be investigated. The facet joints are located in your spine. They are responsible for allowing you to twist and bend, and making your back flexible. Facet joints are also the exit location for nerves on their way to other parts of your body. Healthy facet joints have cartilage, allowing your vertebrae to move smoothly against each other.
Medial Nerve Blocks
A medial branch nerve block is used in two main parts of the body, the spine, and neck. This block disrupts pain signals that are sent from the medial nerves to the brain. The medial nerve block is a very straightforward procedure. Patients presenting with neck pain will be positioned on their side, while those with back pain will be positioned on their stomachs during the procedure. The medical provider will administer an injection of long-lasting anesthetic into the housing areas of the medial branch nerves. For some patients, relief from the pain happens within minutes.
Epidural Nerve Blocks
An epidural nerve block can be performed on lumbar or cervical levels of the spine, depending on the location of the patient’s pain. This procedure involves injecting steroids into the epidural space of the spine to block a nerves ability to send pain signals. When the pain signals are not sent to the brain, the patient doesn’t feel any pain.
Common Questions About Nerve Blocks
- How Long Will A Nerve Block Last?
Nerve blocks should not be viewed as a permanent solution for pain relief. Nerve block injections are fantastic at providing short-term pain relief and can last anywhere from hours to weeks. Every patient is different and the outcome may vary.
- Who Should Avoid Nerve Blocks?
Your doctor is the best person to answer this question, but those who are on blood thinners, have an active infection or have allergies to certain medications may not be eligible for this procedure.
- Are There Risks With Nerve Blocks?
All procedures have their risks. However, these procedures are generally safe. Before your procedure, your doctor will go over any risks with you.
- Do They Hurt?
Many people who have received a nerve block for pain say that the procedure is painless compared to the chronic pain they were living with daily. A slight pinching sensation may be felt at the injection site when the needle enters the skin.
- How Long Does The Procedure Take?
The injection itself only takes a few minutes to administer.
Davis Auto Accident & Personal Injury Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Davis auto accident attorney. If you or a member of your family have been injured in an auto accident, please call me at (530) 392-9400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
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