You may have heard about nerve blocks if you are suffering from chronic pain. Nerve blocks are a pain management technique involving injecting medication directly into a specific nerve or group of nerves. While nerve blocks can be an effective way to manage pain, many people are hesitant to try them because they don’t know what to expect. Here, we take the mystery out of nerve blocks Austin and explain what you can expect from the procedure.
What are nerve blocks?
Before getting into what to expect during a nerve block, it is important to understand what it is and how it works. A nerve block is a pain management technique involving injecting medication into a specific nerve or group of nerves to “block” the transmission of pain signals. There are several nerve blocks, including spinal, epidural, and peripheral nerve blocks.
What to expect before the procedure
Before you receive a nerve block, your doctor will perform a thorough medical history and physical exam to determine the underlying cause of your pain. You may also undergo diagnostic testing, such as X-rays or MRI scans, to help your doctor pinpoint the location of your pain. You may expect your doctor to discuss the process and address any concerns.
Certain drugs, such as blood thinners, may have to be stopped before surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on preparing for the nerve block.
What to expect during the procedure
During the procedure, you will lie down on an exam table. Your doctor will clean the area where the injection will be given and may use a local anesthetic to numb the area. Your doctor will then use an imaging technique, such as an X-ray or ultrasound, to guide the needle to the nerve. Once the needle is in place, your doctor will inject the medication into the nerve or nerves.
The injection itself typically takes only a few minutes. You may feel a mild stinging or burning sensation during the injection, but it should not be painful. After the injection, you will be monitored for a short period to ensure no complications.
What to expect after the procedure
After the procedure, you may experience some numbness or weakness in the area where the injection was given. It is a normal and expected side effect of the nerve block. You should avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after the injection and should not drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of the medication have worn off.
You may experience some pain relief immediately after the injection, but it may take several days for the full effects of the nerve block to be felt. The time the nerve block provides pain relief can vary depending on the underlying condition causing the pain and the medication used.
Nerve blocks can effectively manage chronic pain, but many people are hesitant to try them because they don’t know what to expect. By understanding what nerve blocks are and what to expect during and after the procedure, you can decide whether this treatment option is right for you. If you are considering a nerve block, your doctor can help you determine whether a nerve block is the right treatment option for you and can help you manage any side effects that may occur.