Nerve blocks can relieve pain from a wide range of injuries and health conditions by stopping pain signals before they reach your brain. Matthew Root, DO, at Innovative Pain and Spine Center in the North Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, specializes in interventional techniques such as nerve blocks that serve to identify the precise nerve and effectively alleviate your pain. If you have questions about nerve blocks or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call the office in Toluca Lake or use the online booking system.
A nerve block is a procedure in which Dr. Root injects a local anesthetic and a steroid medication near a single nerve or a nerve root, which is an area where multiple nerves are clustered together as they enter or exit the spinal cord.
Nerve blocks serve two purposes:
By injecting a local anesthetic at a specific nerve or nerve root, Dr. Root can determine if that nerve is the source of your pain. Once the nerve has been verified, he can determine if you might need surgery or recommend one of several interventional treatments that help you avoid surgery.
Anesthetics block nerve signals, quickly relieving your pain by preventing the message from reaching your brain. Steroid medications alleviate your pain by reducing inflammation in damaged or irritated nerves.
All health problems send pain signals through your nerve pathways. As a result, there are a variety of nerve blocks that treat pain from many different conditions. These are a few examples of the different types of nerve blocks and the pain they target:
This nerve block targets the intercostal nerves beneath each rib, effectively relieving pain caused by conditions such as rib fractures, shingles, or a surgical incision
The medial nerves carry pain signals from the facet joints in your spine to your brain. Degenerative changes such as arthritis commonly cause pain originating from the facet joint.
The occipital nerves travel from your neck to your head. Occipital nerve blocks are used to relieve migraines and chronic headaches.
The sympathetic nerves in each area of your body come together at your spine, forming bundles called ganglions. If you have pain in one part of your body, Dr. Root can target the ganglion containing the nerves serving that area.
Dr. Root performs nerve blocks using specialized imaging that provides a real-time view of the procedure. With the imaging, he visualizes the nerve and guides the needle to the precise location.
Once the needle is in place, he injects the medication and your procedure is finished. The injection only takes a few minutes, then you rest for 15-30 minutes so the medication has time to take effect.
If you need relief from pain, call Innovative Pain and Spine Center or schedule an appointment online.