Nerve blocks are used for the diagnosis and treatment of pain from nerves and joints associated with your lower back, and neck. To learn about the benefits of nerve blocks and find out if the procedure is right for you, visit Kenneth Varley, MD, at Southern Pain Specialists. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Varley is an experienced pain management specialist providing effective solutions to chronic pain. To schedule an appointment today, call his office or click to book online.
A nerve block is a type of injection that uses an anesthetic solution to numb the nerves that are causing your pain. Dr. Kenneth Varley performs nerve blocks using fluoroscopy or ultrasound to guide the needle to the exact location of your pain for the most precise treatment possible. Light electrical impulses may also be administered to your nerves during the procedure in order to locate the exact nerve that is causing your pain.
As soon as the nerve block is injected into the epidural space — the fluid-filled space around your spinal cord — the anesthetic medication takes effect. It is quickly absorbed by your nerves in the area to block pain signals that are sent from your nerves to your brain. Since nerve blocks are placed at the nerve roots where they attach to your spinal cord, you get relief from the root to the end of your nerves, which may continue all the way to your fingers or toes, depending on which nerves are being treated.
Dr. Varley recommends nerve blocks for patients suffering from chronic joint or nerve pain that hasn’t responded to other conservative treatments, like anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy. Conditions that can benefit from nerve blocks include:
To determine if a nerve block is right for you, Dr. Varley discusses your symptoms and previous treatments you’ve tried before performing a physical exam and ordering additional tests, like X-rays or a CT scan.
When you arrive for your nerve block procedure, Dr. Varley first cleans your skin and injects a numbing solution into your skin to minimize discomfort.
Mild sedation is administered prior to Dr. VArley inserting the needle for the nerve block using the appropriate imaging technology. He injects the nerve block solution then removes the needle. This occurs in about 5-10 minutes. Nerve blocks typically take 15-20 minutes to work.
After your procedure is complete, Dr. Varley cleans your skin and applies a bandage. He provides after-care instructions and follows up within a few days to determine how you’re doing.
Find out if a nerve block can reduce your pain by scheduling a consultation with Southern Pain Specialists online or by phone now.