The sympathetic nerves of the spine lead outward to the body to control functions that are involuntary, such as digestion and sweating. Pressure on these nerves from inflammation will cause chronic pain. At Central Florida Pain Management, we offer sympathetic nerve block treatments for residents of central Florida, including the cities of Ocala and The Villages.
What is a Sympathetic Nerve Block?
A sympathetic nerve block is an injection that contains medications to prevent the sympathetic nerves from detecting pain and sending signals to your brain. The sympathetic nerves of the body control involuntary functions, such as blood flow. The nerve block may be used to diagnose the root cause of your chronic pain or to treat the discomfort. A lumbar sympathetic nerve block or similar nerve block may be recommended if you suffer from:
- Painful spasms within the blood vessels
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Excessive sweating
- Chronic pain in your stomach
- Reynaud’s syndrome
What Are the Benefits of a Sympathetic Nerve Block?
Lumbar sympathetic block for CRPS and other blocks for the sympathetic nerves may alleviate your pain and other symptoms. The procedure is minimally invasive, so it does not require incisions or general anesthesia. There is no recovery or downtime associated with sympathetic nerve blocks.
What Are the Possible Lumbar Sympathetic Block Complications?
Sympathetic nerve block side effects are rare, but any surgical procedure carries risk. Possible lumbar sympathetic block complications include:
- Adverse reaction to the medication
- Weakness and numbness
- Damage to the nerves
- Low blood pressure
How is a Sympathetic Nerve Block Performed?
We give you a light sedative and numb the area with local anesthesia to help you feel relaxed during the procedure. Fluoroscopy is used to provide the physician with a “live image” of the needle inside the soft tissues. The technology ensures that the administration of the lumbar nerve block is precise and accurate. When the needle is positioned properly, the medication is slowly injected. You may feel a slight stinging and pressure.
What is Recovery Like After a Sympathetic Nerve Block?
No downtime is necessary after a sympathetic nerve block, and many patients report that their chronic pain has subsided immediately after the injection. You remain at our office for about 30 minutes for monitoring. The medication may take up to three days to start working, and the maximum effects are felt after seven to 10 days.
What is the Prognosis After a Sympathetic Nerve Block?
You may have long-term relief of your symptoms after a sympathetic nerve block. If your symptoms do return, we can perform follow-up injections.
Central Florida Pain Management offers sympathetic nerve blocks for residents of central Florida, including the cities of Ocala and The Villages. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Melissa Alvarez-Perez, M.D.