Learn the Facts at Kayal Pain & Spine Center
When you experience severe pain in your back, neck, shoulders or elsewhere, your doctor may recommend a nerve block. If you’re not familiar with nerve blocks, you’re bound to have questions about this procedure.
When you need a back pain doctor in Glen Rock, a neck pain specialist in Franklin Lakes or a shoulder pain expert in Westwood, there is no better choice than Kayal Pain & Spine Center. If we believe a nerve block is a wise course of treatment for you, we’ll carefully explain our reasons. We’ll also patiently answer all of your questions and allow you to make the final decision.
So, what exactly is a nerve block? It’s a temporary or permanent procedure that disrupts certain nerve activity. If you’ve ever received novocaine or some other pain-numbing medication in the dentist’s office, you’ve had a nerve block. Nerve blocks are used to treat certain neuropathic pain or pain caused by damage or dysfunction. Nerve blocks are often used to treat back and neck pain from spinal stenosis or herniated discs.
They also can serve as an important diagnostic tool for your health care team. In addition to a nerve block, your doctor might order an electromyography and nerve conduction velocity test to help pinpoint the cause of your nerve pain.
Nerve blocks can be administered by injections or performed by deliberately damaging or cutting certain parts of the nerve.
Pre- and Post-Surgical Nerve Blocks
Nerve blocks are also used to minimize pain before and after surgery. For certain types of surgery, your surgical team may use a “nerve catheter” to deliver numbing medication to your nerves for two or three days after your surgery. This type of nerve block is more effective than pain medication delivered through an IV. Because you experience less pain, you won’t need as much oral or IV pain medication. Plus, you are less likely to experience side effects such as nausea, itching, slow breathing and somnolence (a strong desire to sleep).
The amount of time a nerve block lasts varies. For example, a nerve block for hand surgery can last about six to eight hours while a nerve block for a total knee replacement can last about 12 to 24 hours.
Here are three common types of nerve blocks:
- Local. Here, local anesthetics are applied or injected into a specific area of your body. An epidural is a common local nerve block in which pain medication is injected into the area near your spinal cord. The most familiar epidurals are those administered during childbirth. But epidurals can be used for neck and back pain caused by a compressed nerve, too.
- Neurolytic. This type of block deliberately causes damage to specific areas of a nerve pathway using alcohol, phenol and thermal agents, such as cryogenic freezing. A neurolytic nerve block is typically reserved for severe chronic pain, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
- Surgical. When you undergo a surgical nerve block, your surgeon removes or deliberately damages certain parts of the nerve. This type of nerve block is only used for severe cases of pain and is usually permanent.
Schedule an Appointment With Kayal Pain & Spine Center
The specialists at this state-of-the-art pain and spine surgery center in Bergen County are experts with nerve blocks and other sophisticated pain and spine therapies and treatments. To schedule an appointment, call 844.777.0910 or contact us on the web.