As many as 50 million Americans suffer from constant aches and discomfort. Nonsurgical methods, such as humble nerve blocks injections, can give long-term relief for many people when OTC pain medicines are not enough.
You can get the best long-lasting relief from pain by working with your dentist to establish a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs. Interventional techniques like nerve blocks are intended to do more than just alleviate pain; they promote recovery.
Finding Out Where Your Suffering is Coming From
The pain-causing nerves can be rendered numb with a nerve block. Epidural anesthesia, blocks of the cervical medial branch, and blocks of the peripheral nerves are all common types of nerve blocks.
A nerve block is an anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, or both drugs injected into the afflicted nerve to relieve pain, inflammation, and irritation. When these drugs enter your system, they begin “turning off” the receptors that cause your pain. As a bonus, these drugs can help in the long run by lowering irritation in the nerves, which promotes the healing of inflamed nerves.
In many cases, your dentist may suggest a nerve block as a treatment for chronic discomfort, like:
- Migraine-like pain in the head
- The syndrome of persistent regional pain (CRPS)
- Symptoms of lower back discomfort
- Postoperative discomfort
- Things like herniated discs or spinal stenosis cause compression or injury to a nerve.
- Pain caused by cancer
Dentists can employ nerve blocks for more than just relieving pain; they can also be used as a diagnostic tool.
Nerve Blocks: What to Expect
There is typically no need to fast before a nerve block surgery, so feel free to consume liquids and food before your scheduled visit.
Your dentist will apply local anesthesia to the injection site to ensure your comfort before inserting the small needle that will deliver the nerve block medicine. In other cases, doctors will employ fluoroscopy, a specialized form of X-ray imaging, in conjunction with contrast dye to pinpoint the exact injection site.
Resting for 15 to 30 minutes until the drug takes action is required after receiving a nerve block injection from your dentist; nevertheless, you should anticipate experiencing rapid pain alleviation after administering the injection.
However, these effects are short-lived, often wearing off after a week or two at the most. Your dentist may suggest a course of injections to assist you in discovering long-term pain relief, depending on the underlying reason for your discomfort. This will allow your nerve to repair while you experience some temporary relief.