Back pain is one of the most debilitating pains. Back pain affects a person’s ability to move. Each step can hurt, causing a sharp pain to shoot down both legs. Then when a person tries to rest, the back pain can still hurt preventing a person from lying comfortable. The continuous nature of certain back pain forces people to think outside the box in treatments. One of the most respected, albeit risky, treatments for the back pain that affects so many people is called a spinal block. Back pain after a spinal block is often reduced if not eliminated.
A spinal block is known by several other names such as a spinal injection or a nerve block. The name derives from the notion that injections into joint are called blocks. The procedure is a pain-relieving injection. The injection shoots pain relief medicine into the back, at the pain center, and then relieves the back pain after the spinal block.
The injections can be helpful at reducing the inflammation experienced in back pain. Back pain can often exacerbate itself by having inflammation that constantly irritate and worsens the problem. This brings about one of the core reasons for using a block. Pain creates sensitivity that can be hard to eradicate. A block provides temporary relief, allowing the nerve to stabilize itself and return back to normal.
The injection attacks the pain either at the nerves or near the nerves. The medication falls under a variety of types: steroid injection, anesthetics and opioids. Blocks are often given in the situations of surgery or delivery of a child, in the form of epidurals. The epidural blocks have been proven particularly effective in pain that spreads from lower back to the leg, especially in cases of a herniated disc or spinal nerve restriction. For the preceding reason, an epidural block has become the most common form of spinal block for back pain.
In the most severe cases of pain, doctors may suggest killing the nerve. Though rare and often irreversible, injections of phenol or pure ethanol kill the nerve, destroying the pain’s source. Another rare but sometimes used treatment is to use either frozen or extremely hot needles to touch the nerves.
The benefits of using blocks are plentiful, but below are just a few:
- A steroid block limits the misfires related to pain that can occur from damaged nerves.
- An anesthesiological block is proven effective at controlling sudden, sharp and localized pain often associated with back pain.
- Blocks can localize and isolate pain. The result is that a doctor can discover the actual source of pain and then begin directed treatment on that source.
Before mentioning further about spinal blocks and back pain, it’s important to note that other solutions are out there for back pain. Spinal blocks work, but are not ideal in all situations. For example, spinal blocks are simply too risky in certain situations. Additionally, certain back pain can’t be cured by spinal blocks and may require better treatments. For that reason, patients are urged to try other treatments first and possible get a second opinion before proceeding with a spinal block for back pain. Some back pain can be cured by focused and strategic stretches instead of invasive treatments. With that said, back pain after spinal block is known to be reduced greatly, allowing many patients to resume the daily activities that define their lives.
Written By: Updated: June 23,2011