Nerve blocks are a common type of pain management offered here at Texas Partners Healthcare Group. Sometimes referred to as a neural blockade, nerve blocks can effectively treat pain in specific areas of the body. Nerve blocks are performed by injecting medication into a part of the body that has been experiencing pain, such as the lower back. Once the injection has been delivered, pain signals that are otherwise sent to the brain are blocked. At Texas Partners Healthcare Group, we offer several different types of nerve blocks:
- Nerve Root
- Medial Branch
- Lumbar Sympathetic
- Celiac Plexus
Each of the above can be used in different scenarios to treat various types of pain and conditions. Let’s now go over each in more detail to help you understand the purpose of each and which could help you manage your pain:
- Occipital Nerve Block – This type of nerve block is an injection of a steroid or other medication around the occipital nerves, which are located on the back of the head above the neck. An occipital nerve block works by reducing inflammation and swelling around the occipital nerves, which is often the root cause of tension headaches and migraines.
- Peripheral Nerve Block – This type of nerve block is done to control pain that is present because of a problem with a specific nerve, which is also referred to as neuralgia. Nerve injury can occur because of trauma, compression, ischemia, or toxic exposure to a nerve. When the block is administered, it decreases the pain signals along the nerve, providing patients with much-needed relief.
- Nerve Root Block – Nerve root blocks, specifically, are in injection into the area around a nerve root in the spine. This type of nerve block aims to decrease pain temporarily, allowing one of our doctors to identify the exact source of the pain. Depending on the patient and situation, pain relief from this procedure varies from minimal and temporary to long-term.
- Medial Branch Block – A medial branch block is an injection of a strong local anesthetic into the medial branch nerves, which are those that supply the facet joints. Facet joints are the framework of the spine that can become inflamed for a wide range of reasons. In many cases, medial branch blocks are used in the lower back (lumbar) facet joints.
- Lumbar Sympathetic Block – This type of block is an injection of a local anesthetic into the sympathetic nerve tissue, which are the nerves that comprise the sympathetic nervous system. These nerves are located on either side of the spine in the back. Your doctor may suggest this block to determine if there is damage to the sympathetic nerve chain and, if so, if this damage is the reason behind the patient’s pain.
- Celiac Plexus Block – This is an injection of pain medication designed to help relieve abdominal pain, typically as a result of cancer or those suffering from chronic pancreatitis. The celiac plexus is a series of nerves that surrounds the aorta, which is the main artery in the abdomen. By blocking these nerves with a celiac plexus block, patients will no longer experience pain in this region.
To learn more about the above nerve blocks, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, please do not hesitate to contact one of our locations in Allen, Anna, Dallas, Frisco, or McKinney.