Nerve blocks are used for pain treatment and management. There are several different types of nerve blocks that serve different purposes. Often a group of nerves, called a plexus or ganglion, that causes pain to a specific body region can be blocked with the injection of medication into a specific area of the body. The injection of a nerve-numbing substance is called a nerve block.
Therapeutic nerve blocks are used to treat painful conditions. Such nerve blocks contain local anesthetic that can be used to control acute pain. Diagnostic nerve blocks are used to determine sources of pain. These blocks typically contain an anesthetic with a known duration of relief.
Prognostic nerve blocks predict the outcomes of given treatments. For example, a nerve block may be performed to determine if more permanent treatments (such as surgery, radiofrequency or various regenerative treatments) would be successful in treating pain.
Nerve blocks are delivered as an outpatient treatment and the entire process, including recovery time is typically less than two hours. Side effects after a nerve block may include temporary soreness, a feeling of warmth, or some weakness. If you are administered an IV sedative you may need to have someone drive you home after the procedure.