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Old 06-24-2005, 11:46 PM   #1
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Question Nerve blocks: How long does pain relief last? Why have a nerve block?

I have some questions regarding nerve blocks:

Typically, for how long does a nerve block provide pain relief?

If a nerve block only gives a person a few hours of pain relief, why even have a nerve block done? (I realize that a nerve block can be used as a diagnostic tool and as a local anesthetic for surgery.)

Is a nerve block a temporary solution to pain, or can it provide permanent pain relief in some instances?

What does it feel like when you receive a nerve block? Can you move your extremity that is affected by the nerve block? Does your extremity feel numb?

Are there any side effects, either temporary or permanent, from nerve blocks? What are the risks involved with receiving a nerve block?

What level of pain, on a scale from 1-10 w/ 10 being the highest, should a person's pain be at in order to be a good candidate for a nerve block?

Thanks so much in advance for helping me learn more about nerve blocks. I am thinking about the possibility of having a nerve block.

Last edited by sealover; 06-24-2005 at 11:54 PM.

 
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Old 06-25-2005, 02:04 PM   #2
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Re: Nerve blocks: how long does pain relief last? Why have a nerve block?

Nerve blocks come in many different fasions. There are, Trigger point injection, Epidural steroid injection, Facet joint injection, Stellate ganglion block, Lumbar sympathetic block, Intercostal nerve block.

A nerve block is usually done by injecting a local anesthetic around the nerve endings to interupt the pain signal. Basically it tells your brain that you are not in pain.

Pain relief can be from 1 day to three months, but a nerve block is usually temporary and used in a pain management program. It is used in conjuction with other pain relief remedies. Some people get really good relief, others it does not work for. I have had Facet injections as well as Epidural injections and they did not work for me. But I have a friend that has them every 3-4 months and give her great relief.

And yes, generally you can still feel the area, it just feels like there is less or no pain there.

As far as risks, anytime you get something injected into your body, there are risks. They are generally minimal, but they can sometimes nick the spinal dura which can leak spinal fluid and give you a spinal headache. Also infections can happen, but most of these are very minimal. I think the biggest risk of side effects is that it won't work for you.

As far as pain when getting them, it usually minimal. They usually give me some Versed (Midazolam) and Fentanyl and you stay awake. Takes just a few minutes.

You won't know if works unless you get one done. Hope this helps. Good luck.

 
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:30 AM   #3
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Question Re: Nerve blocks: how long does pain relief last? Why have a nerve block?

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

The pain I have is in my left foot. What type of nerve block is appropriate for blocking pain in a foot, and where on the body is the injection given? Would I be able to walk normally after the nerve block?

 
Old 06-28-2005, 07:19 AM   #4
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Re: Nerve blocks: how long does pain relief last? Why have a nerve block?

You might want to look into Electrical Nerve Blocks. My new physiatrist started a series of them for my cold RSD and pain. Getting both sympathetic and sensory blocks...the sympathetic to ameliorate the sympathetically-maintained pain and to increase blood flow to my lower leg and foot. The sensory blocks to help relieve the sympathetically-independent pain. Didnít get any noticeable pain relief from the first two, but they said even so it will help increase the circulation. On the third visit, the tech kept increasing the power and changing the waveforms and it WORKED! Not a lot, and mainly on the burning-type pain...but my lower leg and foot turned a bright pink due to increased circulation. The Ďregularí pains started coming back about 1/2 hr. afterwards and didnít reach its regular amount until late afternoon.

It sure beats getting the big needles!

wanda

 
Old 06-28-2005, 11:58 PM   #5
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Re: Nerve blocks: how long does pain relief last? Why have a nerve block?

Wanda,

Thanks for writing.

That's wonderful that you got increased circulation to your lower leg and foot.

 
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