A nerve block is a minimally invasive treatment in which an anesthetic or pain medication is injected into the damaged nerve or nerve group. A nerve block can ease pain and discomfort, allowing your body’s natural healing processes to take place.
Depending on the location of your nerve pain, your provider might use fluoroscopy or CT imaging to confirm the appropriate treatment area.
What is a facet block injection?
A facet block injection is a minimally invasive procedure that is similar to a nerve block, except the target of treatment is a facet joint. There are two facet joints on the sides of each vertebra. They allow for a full range of motion and provide support and stability to your spine.
Over time, your facet joints experience natural wear-and-tear. Arthritis, sports-related injuries, and automobile accidents can also lead to facet joint pain.
Who can benefit from a nerve or facet block injection?
Anyone experiencing acute or chronic pain as the result of nerve damage or a musculoskeletal injury can benefit from a nerve block or facet block injection.
In addition to relieving pain, both nerve and facet blocks can give your provider diagnostic information about your condition. Your provider can use this knowledge to determine the source of your pain and guide future treatment.
What happens during a nerve and facet block appointment?
Before receiving a nerve or facet block, you change into a gown and lie down on an exam table. Your provider sterilizes the injection site and administers a local anesthetic, so you don’t feel any pain.
Then, your provider carefully inserts a needle through your skin and uses guided imaging to pinpoint the source of your discomfort. Your provider injects the medication, which stops the nerves in your spine from sending pain signals to your brain.
The therapeutic effects of a nerve block or facet block usually occur right away. The entire process is quick and usually lasts no more than 30 minutes.
What is recovery like following a nerve or facet block injection?
In the first few days following your appointment, you may experience mild pain, swelling, or bruising. You should avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours and apply ice packs as necessary.
If you benefit from this treatment, you can return for follow-up injections. Your provider works with you to develop a custom treatment plan.
To learn more about the benefits of pain management with nerve or facet block injections, request an appointment at Crenshaw Interventional Pain Specialists today by calling the office or booking online.
If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or go to your local emergency room.