Nerve blocks are injections of medication onto or near nerves which block pain signals. Nerve blocks are used to relief pain from a variety of conditions, from a broad range of locations on the body. The medications that are injected include local anesthetics, steroids, and opioids.
Neck & Back Pain
Lumbar Facet Joint / Medial Branch Block
Medial branch nerves are small nerves that extend out from the facet joints in the spine, carrying pain signals to the brain. This procedure is primarily diagnostic, meaning if pain relief from the injection is good, it helps Dr. Joyal determine what further treatment is best.
Cervical Facet Joint / Medial Branch Block
Similar to a lumbar facet joint block, the cervical facet joint block stops pain signals coming from the upper spine in the neck. Cervical medial branch nerves are located in a bony groove in the neck.
Thoracic Facet Joint / Medial Branch Block
Thoracic medial branch nerves are located in the mid-back or upper back.
Selective Nerve Root Block
A selective nerve root block is an injection of a local anesthetic at a specific nerve root. Nerve roots emerge from places along the spine called foramina, and sometimes bulging discs, bone spurs, misalignment, etc. can pinch these openings. A selective nerve root block targets the affected foramina.
Trigeminal Nerve Block
The trigeminal nerves supply the front half of the head, including the face, mouth and tongue. They allow us to bite, chew and swallow, and they also produce the sensations you feel in your face. When these nerves are compressed, deteriorate, or get damaged, they can cause pain. Blocking them can help relieve pain symptoms from conditions like trigeminal neuralgia, herpes zoster, and other atypical syndromes that cause facial pain.
Occipital Nerve Block
The greater and lesser occipital nerves run from the area where the spinal column meets the neck, up to the scalp at the back of the head. When these nerves are injured or compressed, a person may feel piercing, throbbing, or electric-like chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears, usually on one side of the head. A nerve block can help alleviate this pain.
Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) is a group of nerve cells located behind the nose that is linked to the trigeminal nerve, the main nerve involved in headaches. The SPG is also important for tearing and nasal congestion. This kind of block can help relieve symptoms of cluster and migraine headaches.
Peripheral Nerve Block
Peripheral nerve blocks can be used to help reduce pain in a specific area of the body, by injecting local numbing medicine around the nerves where the pain occurs.
The sympathetic nervous system is a series of nerves that spread from your spine to your body. These nerves help control several body functions that you have no control over, called involuntary body functions. Blood flow, digestion, and sweating are some of these functions. Sympathetic blocks can target a range of nerves, including the Stellate Ganglion (in front of the 6th-7th cervical vertebrae), Celiac Plexus (abdomen), Lumbar Sympathetic Chain, Superior Hypogastric Plexus, and Ganglion Impar.
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