What is nerve block for chronic pain?

Nerve Block for Chronic Pain
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Nerve block for chronic pain: Overview

A nerve block may be used to treat some kinds of chronic pain. It relieves pain by interrupting how pain signals are sent to your brain. It is done by injecting a medicine near a nerve or near the spinal cord or nerve root.

A test block is usually done with a short-acting local anesthetic. It numbs the area of pain to see if you get good pain relief. If you do, your doctor may inject another medicine, such as a steroid or alcohol, that may provide long-lasting pain relief.

Nerve block for chronic pain

A nerve block is a local anesthetic injected near a nerve or the spinal cord or nerve root. It may be used to treat some kinds of chronic pain. The nerve block numbs the area so you won't feel pain. It may provide short- or long-term pain relief. Nerve blocks can also be used to find the source of pain, to treat painful conditions, and to predict how pain will respond to long-term treatments.

Problems after a nerve block aren't common. There is a small risk of nerve damage, infection, or bleeding.

How well does a nerve block for chronic pain work?

How well a nerve block for chronic pain works depends on the type of block, the medicines used, and the cause of the pain that's being treated. Some blocks last from a few hours up to a day. Others last for months. And some can give permanent relief. Sometimes the block needs to be repeated.

Nerve blocks can work well for some kinds of cancer pain. But they may not work as well for something like low back pain.

Your doctor can help you understand how well a nerve block might work for you.

What are the risks of a nerve block for chronic pain?

Problems after a nerve block aren't common. There is a small risk of nerve damage, infection, or bleeding. In rare cases, the medicines used can affect the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system (airway and lungs).

Why is a nerve block for chronic pain done?

Nerve blocks are used to help relieve painful conditions, including cancer pain. They are also used to find the source of chronic pain.

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