A sympathetic nerve block is considered by several pain and health care physicians as a potential remedy for restricting chronic pain. Though research are still conducted to prove the efficiency of the sympathetic nerve block. The treatment targets the sympathetic nervous system, that involves a network of nerves spreading out from the spine to your body. The nerves are responsible for governing different involuntary body function, such as blood flow, digestion and sweating
In what conditions I may undergo sympathetic nerve block?
A sympathetic nerve block is used to diagnose or treat pain, including the nerves of the sympathetic nervous system. The condition for which a sympathetic nerve block is recommended involves;
- Pain from cramps in the blood vessels
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Raynauds’s syndrome
- Some specific chronic stomach pain
- Excessive sweating
Sympathetic nerve block series of steps
The position of your pain mostly conclude where you will be given the nerve block. Your sympathetic nerves spread out of your spine in the form of thick network of nerves called ganglions. If you feel pain in the upper area of your body, you can get pain reduction from giving a block at the stellate ganglion in your neck area. If you feel pain in the lower part of your spine, the nerves near the lower spine can be aimed with a lower sympathetic block . The sympathetic nerve block is a slightly invasive procedure. Traditionally the sympathetic nerve block is done in the following steps;
The pain management specialist will initiate the procedure asking about the medicines you are taking, including vitamins and supplements, the physician will ask about your medical record and if you are allergic to any medicine. You will be asked to fast for about 6 hours prior to the procedure. You will be given an intravenous line and the physician will observe your vital signs. The physician might inject local anesthesia to numb the targeted area in the neck or back before the real nerve block. With the X-Ray guidance the specialist will guide the needle in to the targeted area. once the ganglion is found the physician will inject the anesthetic solution allowing it to block, in some cases other medicines are also used.
After the nerve block treatment
A sympathetic nerve block is comparatively safe procedure, you can easily return to your routinely activities after a whole day of rest. It is recommended not to drive home on your own. Sideffects are temporary and may involve, soreness, feeling of warmth and some weakness. If the sympathetic nerve block is given in the wrong nerve you may experience drooping eyelid, difficulty in swallowing but all these side effects are temporary and can be easily managed