When you have chronic pain, even a short break can be a blessing. Double board-certified pain management specialist Glenn Flanagan, MD, of Naples Regenerative Institute in Naples, Florida, uses nerve block injections to offer you temporary pain relief and help with diagnosis. To find out if nerve block injections could provide you with some respite from pain, call Naples Regenerative Institute today or book an appointment online.
Nerve block injections affect the way your nerves work. There are two ways in which they achieve this:
A local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, stops your nerves from transmitting pain signals to your brain, entirely numbing the treated area for a short time.
A neurolytic injection contains phenol or alcohol, which damages the nerve pathways and prevents pain signals reaching your brain.
Most nerve block injections use a local anesthetic. Neurolytic nerve blocks tend to be used for patients with severe chronic pain.
Dr. Flanagan uses nerve block injections for two purposes:
Nerve block injections can help determine the cause of your condition, as blocking specific nerves confirms whether they are responsible for your pain. You might also undergo nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and electromyogram (EMG) studies to evaluate nerve function.
Nerve block injections provide fast-acting relief from pain that gives you a break of several hours or more. Local anesthetic nerve block injections wear off quite quickly, but the effects of neurolytic nerve blocks are longer lasting.
Dr. Flanagan’s patients often find that local anesthetic nerve block injections offer some longer-term benefits by breaking the cycle of pain. This means that when the injection wears off, your pain may be less intense than it was previously.
There are numerous types of nerve block injections available. Some of those Dr. Flanagan uses at Naples Regenerative Institute include:
A sympathetic nerve block works on the nerves responsible for functions you don’t consciously control, like blood vessel expansion.
The stellate ganglion nerves are in your upper back. A nerve block injection here relieves head, neck, arm, and chest pain and is often helpful for patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
An intercostal nerve block injection relieves pain in your chest wall.
Epidural nerve block injections are those where Dr. Flanagan injects the medication into the epidural space that surrounds your spinal cord. Epidural injections can help with nerve-related back and neck pain, and leg or arm pain originating in the spinal nerves.
Peripheral nerve block injections target nerves beyond your spinal cord, like those in your arms, hands, legs, and feet. Dr. Flanagan uses cutting-edge imaging technology to accurately inject the medication into the target area.
To find out whether nerve block injections could help in the diagnosis or treatment of your chronic pain condition, call Naples Regenerative Institute today or book an appointment online.