What are Diagnostic Nerve Blocks & Why are They Used?

What are Diagnostic Nerve Blocks & Why are They Used?

Published: November 28, 2022

Chronic pain is a condition that affects many people’s lives across the world. Statistics show that around 10% of the globe’s population is living with chronic pain. In the U.S. alone, about 11%-40% of adults suffer from chronic pain. Whether neck, back, or any other body part, chronic pain makes it impossible to perform your daily routine comfortably. While conventional remedies are available over-the-counter, they are costly in the long run and pose health risks.

As a patient with chronic neck, lower back, or hip pain, you may often wonder what’s causing it. Is it due to a ligament, nerve, joint, or other body structure issue? Healthcare providers rely on such information to create a treatment plan. Diagnostic nerve blocks offer a reliable solution. It has been proven to help precisely diagnose and ease chronic pain conditions by numbing nerves in the affected area. Read on to learn how and why nerve blocks are used.

What Are Diagnostic Nerve Blocks?

Diagnostic nerve blocks are procedures that numb particular nerves or groups of nerves alleged to cause pain. They are anti-inflammatory or anesthetic injections that target and block nerve pain signals from reaching the brain.

Nerve blocks are injections aimed at determining the source of chronic pain and lessening it. They turn off a pain signal from a particular location in the body. Or reduce inflammation in the affected area and heal damaged nerves.

Why Are They Used?

Diagnostic nerve blocks are commonly used in patients to manage pain. They offer instant relief to various kinds of pain. It could be long-term or chronic pain, short-term pain, severe acute, or temporary pain after surgery.

Nerve blocks numb or prevent the nerves in the affected area from sending pain signals to the brain. They reduce inflammation or irritation to the nerves and heal them. This offers long-term pain relief benefits.

When done well, nerve block injections enable people struggling with chronic pain to live better lives. They allow you to exercise, go to work, and perform your daily tasks comfortably.

Healthcare providers use nerve blocks as an effective tool for determining the source of your pain. They assess your response to a temporary nerve block and how it eases your pain. This allows them to discover the reason for your pain, where it is, and how to relieve it best.

How Can They Help?

People suffering from chronic or acute pain may get a diagnostic nerve block injection to ease the pain. Such pain often comes from the spine but other body parts affected include:

  • Neck
  • Legs
  • Buttocks
  • Arms

Your doctor uses imaging guidance like fluoroscopy, CT scan (computer tomography), or ultrasound to identify the pain source. They inject a tiny needle near a specific nerve causing pain to deliver safe amounts of electric current. The current shuts down pain receptors in the nerve(s) to give you immediate relief.

Nerve block injection allows a damaged nerve to heal and reduce its inflammation. The injection offers your doctor diagnostic information as they can monitor your response. This enables them to determine the source or cause of the pain and create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Surgeons and anesthesiologists use nerve blocks before surgeries to offer temporary pain relief after a procedure.

Is the Procedure Safe, and What Can You Expect from Diagnostic Nerve Blocks?

Diagnostic nerve block injections are safe as your doctor uses tiny needles to deliver the treatment. Most people are able to resume their daily activities the following day after the treatment.

After the procedure, expect to experience up to 80% or more pain relief in the injected area. This relief may be temporary, especially if the doctor used a local anesthetic that wears off after several hours.

On average, the pain relief lasts for a few weeks to 18 months or until the nerves regrow. Here are some of the benefits of a diagnostic nerve block injection:

  • Offers temporary and long-term pain relief
  • Reduces inflammation of the nerve causing pain
  • Improves body function in your daily life without pain
  • Helps identify the specific cause of pain

Schedule an Appointment Today

Diagnostic nerve blocks are one of the most effective solutions for managing chronic pain. They numb specific nerve(s) in the area affected to block pain signals from reaching the brain. This eases pain and heals damaged or inflamed nerves in the affected area.

At Texas Pain Experts, we commit to helping patients manage chronic pain conditions. We offer effective nerve block injections and other pain treatments so you live a comfortable yet painless life. Fill out the form below to schedule an appointment today and learn how diagnostic nerve blocks aid in achieving long-term pain relief.

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