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Sympathetic Nerve Block
The sympathetic nerves originate inside the vertebral column, toward the middle of the spinal cord. These nerves are part of the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling things that we do not think about or have direct control over, such as salivation, heartbeat, blood flow, etc. These nerves can become damaged as a result of injury or trauma, which may cause chronic pain conditions such as CRPS to develop.
What is a sympathetic nerve block?
A sympathetic nerve block is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for relieving pain that originates in the sympathetic nerves.
A sympathetic nerve block procedure involves injecting numbing medication around the specific sympathetic nerves that are causing pain.
The medication temporarily “switches off” the sympathetic nerves in that region, providing relief.
What can I expect during the procedure?
If you are receiving sedation, this will be administered prior to the procedure. Your skin will be cleaned at the injection sites. A fluoroscope (x-ray machine) will be used to visualize the needle as it is guided to the appropriate site, where the numbing medication is then injected.
What can I expect after the procedure?
You will be moved into the recovery area and monitored by a nurse for 15-20 minutes. If you received IV sedation, you will be monitored for about an hour.
We recommend that you take it easy for the remainder of the day. You may resume normal activities the next day. You may experience tenderness or aggravated symptoms for several days after the injection as the anesthetic wears off. Apply ice packs to help with this pain.
Plan to follow-up with your provider two weeks after the injection to assess its effectiveness and determine the next step in your care.
Schedule an appointment with a Twin Cities Pain Clinic provider to discuss if a sympathetic nerve block can help with your pain.
RELIEVE YOUR PAIN, RENEW YOUR LIFE!