Nerve Blocks

The purpose of a nerve block is in its name: it stops the pain signals from traveling from your nerves to your brain. At Foothill Pain Management in Glendale and the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, pain management specialist Christopher Charbonnet, MD, treats back pain, neck pain, and other pain originating in your spine with nerve blocks like epidural steroid injections. To find out if you’re a candidate for pain management with nerve blocks, call Foothill Pain Management, or book an appointment online today.

Nerve Blocks Q & A

What are nerve blocks?

Nerve blocks are an injectable treatment that aims to stop the pain signals from traveling through your nerves and spinal cord to reach your brain. They’re a valuable tool in chronic pain management and can help you live a more comfortable life with fewer complications like weight gain and depression.

Using X-ray guidance, your provider at Foothill Pain Management delivers a corticosteroid dose to the nerve where your pain originates. The most well-known and common type of nerve block is an epidural injection, which your provider places into the epidural space surrounding your spinal cord. Nerve blocks are particularly effective when combined with rehabilitative treatments like physical therapy.

While nerve blocks offer temporary relief, they generally last from one week to one year. You can get up to three epidural injections at Foothill Pain Management over the course of a year.

What can nerve blocks treat?

Foothill Pain Management offers nerve blocks as a treatment option for many different types of pain, particularly in your neck or lower back. After evaluating you and discussing your treatment goals, they might add nerve blocks to your treatment plan for:

  • Arthritis pain
  • Sciatica pain
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Extremity pain originating in your spine

Your provider tells you how nerve blocks can relieve your pain and what else you’ll need to do for your treatment. If treatment with nerve blocks is effective, you may be able to avoid surgery.

What should I expect during a nerve block treatment?

A nerve block treatment at Foothill Pain Management doesn’t take long. Your provider advises you to sit or lie down and stay still as they inject the medication into a facet joint in your spine or the epidural space.

Before the injection, they clean the area with an antiseptic solution to prevent an infection. They use an X-ray to guide the needle to the right place and avoid damaging your spinal cord or other nearby nerves.

After your provider delivers the injection, you’ll rest for 15-30 minutes as the medication kicks in. They also monitor you for any unusual side effects before you’re able to leave.

While you might feel a pinch as the injection happens, any discomfort subsides quickly as the medication takes effect. Still, you should say something if you notice any severe pain during the procedure.

For more information on nerve blocks like epidural injections, call Foothill Pain Management, or book a consultation online today.