Back pain affects millions of people all over the world. It can be from mild to severe and can leave even the strongest person begging for answers. There are dozens of treatments designed to reduce or eliminate back pain and pain associated with the nerves. There are pros and cons to all treatments and this article addresses a common therapy called a nerve block.
Basically, a nerve block is an injection into the nerve that is thought to be responsible for the pain. These injections may contain steroids, anesthetics, and sometimes ethanol in severe instances.
What to Expect During a Nerve Block
Patients will receive a local anesthetic. Physicians will then locate the specific nerve and insert a needle into the area that contains medication of some form. This procedure typically lasts 30 minutes to one hour and can be used as an ongoing part of your treatment plan.
Are Nerve Blocks Effective?
The effectiveness of nerve block therapies are up for debate. Some people get lasting relief, but often the relief is only temporary. The procedure may need to be done frequently, so consider the cost and inconvenience in determining if this is right for you. Patients report low to moderate levels of pain when getting this type of injection. Sometimes, swelling may occur after the procedure.
Alternative Pain Treatments
There are other ways to treat nerve pain and many of them are believed to be more effective, and less expensive than nerve block therapy. The main issue with nerve block therapy is that it too only addresses the symptoms of nerve pain. Make sure you ask your physician, “What is the cause of my pain in the first place”? Most of the time there is an underlying issue, or a combination of factors that are contributing to your pain.
For more information about alternative treatments for nerve pain, visit the treatments section of our website. We have dozens of videos and articles that cover a wide variety of treatment options that you can try.
Written By: Updated: November 18,2011