Intercostal nerve block for diagnosis and pain therapy

Overview

Intercostal nerve block is an injection of steroid or other medications that are given around the intercostal nerves positioned under each rib

The purpose of an intercostal nerve block

The intercostal nerve may get inflamed or swelling of the tissues around the intercostal nerve may take place, between the ribs or in the chest wall causing severe pain and discomfort. The intercostal nerve block serves for the purpose of treating such pain and inflammation in the intercostal nerve and the structures around. Shingles pain in the chest is commonly treated with intercostal nerve blocks. Pain around the chest and after a chest surgery intercostal nerve block may work wonders

How much time does it take

The entire process of intercostal nerve block only takes a few minutes to be completed

What is injected?

The injection is prepared with  a local anesthetic and steroid substance that help alleviate pain

Does the intercostal nerve block hurt?

The entire process of  intercostal nerve block  is made by infusing a needle through layers of the skin deeper in the tissues, as the needle is infused there is a little pain, however the skin and the tissues are numbed with a local anesthetic using a very tiny needle during the performance of the intercostal nerve block

What happens during the procedure?

The intercostal nerve block is performed with the patient placed on one side of the chest, the side to be treated is facing up, the skin of the area to be treated is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the injection is carried out

What to expect after the intercostal nerve block?

Soon after the treatment you might feel that your pain has relieved or might be eliminated, this happens due to the local anesthetic injected, but the effect may last only  for a couple of hours, after the numbness lasts you may experience pain and a sore spot on the injection site for a couple of days, this is due to the infusion of the needle as well from the irritation from the steroid itself, you will  notice a pain relief after a day or two

Post procedure care

For a few hours after the intercostal nerve block the patient is recommended to rest, can drive back home. Treating with ice on the sore spot can help healing and you can carry on your routinely activities soon