Pain can make your life difficult and chronic pain even more. Nerve blocks offer an effective treatment option to relieve chronic pain in various body parts by blocking pain signals. The treatment involves the injection of steroids and local anesthetic directly into the affected nerve area, which can help with pain control and enhance function. Often, the goal is to help people avoid surgery and take an active role in physical therapy. Pain management specialist Maher Ibrahim MD provides insights for patients considering a nerve block. While your medical specialist will help determine the best treatment for your pain, here are things you should know if you opt to have a nerve block.
Don’t Be Afraid
Most people are afraid or hesitant to receive injections. However, you don’t have to because nerve blocks are safe. The procedure is significantly less intensive than surgery, and the risks are less severe. The injections also contain local anesthesia, greatly reducing the pain associated with the needles. Your healthcare provider might also administer iv sedation before the procedure to reduce your anxiety and make the procedure more comfortable. Doctors use a fluoroscope to direct them when administering the nerve block. They can visualize your bony structures for accurate placement of the needle. Overall, the injection is precisely done at the right place and with less pain.
Individuals Respond Differently to Nerve Blocks
Another fact to remember about nerve blocks is that each person responds differently. While some people only require a single treatment for pain relief, others need several treatments. Often, people with acute pain who aren’t struggling with chronic illness might get immediate relief with a single nerve block treatment. On the other hand, if you have been struggling with chronic pain for a long, you might need more intensive and regular treatments.
You May Experience Post-Procedure Soreness
After a nerve block procedure, it is often normal to experience some post-procedure soreness or discomfort. Once the local anesthesia wears off, you can feel a lingering pain or soreness where the injection occurred. However, this often goes away in a few days after the injection. At worst, the soreness will only last until the steroids start to take effect.
It Might Take Time to Enjoy the Benefits
After getting a nerve block injection, the steroid doesn’t infiltrate your body immediately. The steroid content of the injection is slowly released to avoid overwhelming your body. However, this means it will take some days to experience the benefits of the injections. The steroid’s effectiveness peaks around 3 to 10 days after getting the injection. The period it takes for you to respond to your first injection guides your doctor about your future treatments as he works to establish the nerve that causes the pain.
Ultimately, a nerve block procedure can be haunting. However, being afraid is often worse than the treatment procedure. You can overcome these worries by physically and mentally preparing for a nerve block. This way, you will have a smooth procedure. Nerve block injections help decrease pain and enhance your function by engaging in physical therapy and avoiding surgery. Consult with a pain management specialist for more details and guidance.