Nerve Blocks Help in Diagnosis and Offer Pain Relief
Treating your pain requires knowing -- precisely knowing -- where the source of your pain exists. Selective nerve blocks do that; they help your physician pinpoint the source of your pain -- down to the specific nerve and musculoskeletal system. Nerve blocks can be used for therapeutic purposes (to provide pain relief) and for diagnostic purposes (isolating a specific cause of pain).
In general, nerve blocks interrupt pain signals going to the brain. By administering a nerve block to a specific nerve, your Columbia pain & Spine Institute physician can determine the exact nerve or nerves that are sending those agonizing pain signals. Then, treatment can begin.
There are three types of selective nerve blocks. In each case, a local anesthetic is injected into the sleeve surrounding a specific nerve. Fluoroscopy, or X-ray imaging, is used to help the physician guide the needle to the desired location.
Cervical nerve blocks are useful for the diagnosis of pain sources in the shoulder, arm, hand or neck. Lumbar nerve blocks focus on pain sources in the legs, feet and the lower back. Thoracic nerve blocks deal with mid and upper back conditions.
In addition to being important diagnostic tools, nerve blocks also provide targeted pain relief. Selective nerve blocks are one way to provide targeted pain relief by interrupting pain signals to the brain at specific locations.