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When to Consider a Nerve Block for Your Chronic Pain

Apr 12, 2023
When to Consider a Nerve Block for Your Chronic Pain
Finding a safe, effective, and long-lasting solution for chronic pain is the goal of millions of Americans who struggle with daily discomfort. If you find yourself in this position, explore whether nerve blocks can help.

Every day you deal with discomfort, and you’re so very tired of the ongoing battle. Like millions of others — chronic pain affects 1 in 5 Americans — you want safe, effective, and long-lasting solutions. For many, nerve blocks fit this bill.

As pain management specialists, the Commonwealth Pain & Spine team offers our patients a range of services that meets almost every goal. If you want to explore where nerve blocks are right for your chronic pain, read on to learn more.

Blocking the nerves

A nerve block is a technique where we inject pain medication into the area where your nerves are actively sending pain signals. The anesthetic quiets the nerve fibers and stops them from sending messages to your brain.

In addition to the anesthetic, a nerve block may also contain a steroid to address any inflammation that may be compressing a nerve group.

Often, we administer nerve blocks along your spine, as the nerve roots that create your peripheral nervous system all exit from the spine. That said, we can also target overactive nerves most anywhere in your body, including your face and limbs.

The benefits of nerve blocks

There are several reasons why many of our patients prefer nerve blocks, including:

Fewer oral medications

If you rely on oral medications to relieve your chronic pain, there are numerous long-term risks, such as gastrointestinal issues. With nerve blocks, we use pain medications, but we bypass your digestive tract and inject them directly into the area surrounding your hyperactive nerves. 

Another risk of oral medications is addiction. We use far less pain medication with nerve blocks since we deliver it straight to your nerves, reducing your reliance on oral medications.

Longer-term relief

Nerve blocks can provide much longer-term relief than oral medications, though the exact length of pain relief varies from patient to patient.

Buys valuable time

Nerve blocks are a great way to temporarily relieve your pain, so you can embark on other techniques that will bring you more sustainable results, namely physical therapy.

Valuable diagnostic tools

Another role that nerve blocks play is helping us to identify problematic nerve fibers. For example, if we suspect that certain nerve roots in your neck are creating problems in your hands, we can administer a nerve block into your cervical spine. If the symptoms in your hands go away, we know which nerves are causing the problem, which will help us figure out the best treatment plan moving forward, such as radiofrequency ablation.

If you’d like to see whether nerve blocks make sense for your chronic pain, please make an appointment at a location near you. We have offices in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky. We also serve patients in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio.