Nerve block is a form of using anesthesia to control or prevent pain. It can be a surgical or non-surgical procedure. With surgical nerve blocks, specific nerves are destroyed to ensure that they cannot send out signals to the central nervous system. For nonsurgical nerve blocks, your doctor will inject medicine around specific nerves. The medication keeps impulses from reaching the central nervous system. If you plan on getting nerve blocks in Austin, your doctor will help you choose between the surgical and non-surgical option. Nerve block is a common option for dealing with pain in Austin.
1. When Is It Appropriate?
The most common use of nerve blocks is preventing or controlling pain. It works better than medication administered through an IV line. Nerve blocks may be appropriate for managing the following types of pain:
- Cancer-related pain
- Labor pain
- Low back pain
- Chronic regional pain
- Post-surgery pain
- Raynaud’s syndrome
- Pain from shingles infections
- Phantom pain after amputation
2. The Side Effects of a Nerve Block
Even though nerve blocks are safe, they have a few risks and potential side effects. However, they pose fewer side effects than most types of pain medications. The following are a few risks and side effects to expect:
- Tenderness around the site of injection
- Blocking the wrong nerves
- Temporary nerve damage
- Horner’s syndrome which may result in a reduced pupil size and drooping eyelids
3. Is It Permanent?
The results of a nerve block can be permanent. However, it is reserved for chronic pain where other treatment options have failed. It may be great for chronic regional pain syndrome, cancer pain, and pain after amputation.
When administering a permanent nerve block, your doctor will destroy the nerve completely. They may remove it, cut it, or use electrical currents or phenol to damage it.
After treatment, the blocked area may remain weak or numb for several hours. It may be difficult to tell when things are too hot or cold so you need to be careful. Seek medical help if the areas remain weak or numb for more than 24 hours.
Even though it has a high chance of success, permanent nerve block is not always permanent. Your destroyed nerve may repair itself or grow back. In that case, you will have to deal with the pain again.
4. How to Prepare for the Procedure
You do not need to make any preparations for a nerve block. However, doctors suggest that you avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen within 24 hours of your procedure. If you are taking blood thinners like warfarin or aspirin, let your doctors know about it before scheduling your appointment. You can eat or drink as normal.
Even though there are plenty of ways to deal with pain, they do not always work. In such instances, you may need a nerve block. It is a great option for dealing with different types of pain and the results can be permanent. Your doctor may help you understand the benefits and risks of the procedure so that you can prepare accordingly.