Sympathetic nerve blocks are an effective procedure in controlling chronic back pain. In this therapy, the sympathetic nervous system is targeted; a series of nerves spreading out from the spine to the body in controlling some involuntary bodily functions or those functions in which you have no control. These are blood flow, digestion, sweating, opening and narrowing of blood vessels.
How is it performed?
- During the procedure, the patient will be asked to lie on an x-ray table
- The skin around the injection area is cleaned and it is numbed with anesthesia.
- X-ray guidance will be used by the doctor to directly insert the needle at the targeted site.
- Slowly and gradually anesthesia will also be injected.
Who are the candidates?
Patients who are suffering from the following are candidates for this treatment:
- Nerve (neurogenic) pain
- The constant burning pain of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in the arm or leg
- Coccydynia (tail bone pain)
- Facial or pelvic pain
How long it takes?
The entire procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes.
Firstly, the patient is monitored from 30 to 60 minutes in case of any pain related issues. He/she is instructed to take a day off after the treatment is performed. After this, normal routine may be resumed as tolerated by the patient.
Patients experience pain relief after the procedure and there is also a progressive increase in the interval between when blocks are needed.