What a Nerve Block Can Tell Us About Your Pain

Feb 14, 2024
What a Nerve Block Can Tell Us About Your Pain
A nerve block provides immediate pain relief. But that’s not the only benefit of this interventional pain procedure. Learn more about what a nerve block can tell us about your pain.

Most of the time, you can easily identify the cause of your pain. Like the excruciating pain you feel when you stub your toe on the leg of the kitchen table. Or the burning sensation when you pick up a hot pan without a pot holder.

Knowing the source of your pain determines the treatment. But not all types of pain have an obvious cause, making it harder to treat and get relief.

At Addison Pain + Regenerative Medicine in Addison, Texas, our pain management specialist, Dr. John East, has built a reputation for providing relief from pain where other treatments fail. We do this by using various tools to help us find the source of your pain, like nerve block procedures.

In this month’s blog, we want to explain what a nerve block can tell us about your pain.

Pain 101

Pain is a sensory signal that provides information to your brain about your body and your immediate surroundings. Your brain interprets the information, decides what to do, and relays the information back to your body to react. 

All of this happens in fractions of a second and is meant to protect your body from harm. 

But not all pain feels the same and not everyone feels pain the same way, especially if you suffer from chronic pain. The sensations you feel depend on how your brain interprets the pain signal. 

Though we’re still trying to understand the cause of chronic pain, researchers theorize that the ongoing discomfort occurs because the brain is more sensitive to pain, overreacting to the nerve signal.

Finding the nerve triggering your pain may help us better manage it, which is where nerve blocks come in. 

About a nerve block

A nerve block involves injecting an anesthetic near a nerve we suspect is causing your pain. The medication blocks the nerve from sending signals to your brain to get the desired result, usually a reduction in pain sensation. 

We perform many types of nerve block procedures to treat different types of pain conditions, such as:

  • Epidural injections for back pain
  • Facet joint injections for back and neck pain
  • Selective nerve root blocks that target specific nerves in your spine
  • Occipital nerve blocks to treat occipital headaches and chronic migraines
  • Interdigital nerve blocks for Morton’s neuralgia (foot pain condition)

We may include a corticosteroid with the anesthetic to reduce nerve inflammation and help heal the damage.

What a nerve block tells us

Pain relief is one of the reasons we do nerve block procedures. It provides quick results, but the pain relief is temporary.

We primarily do nerve blocks to confirm or rule out the source of your pain. If you get immediate relief from your pain, then we know we found the source of your discomfort. We can then proceed with long-term solutions like radiofrequency nerve ablation.

If you don’t get relief from your pain following a nerve block, then we know we need to do more diagnostic testing to better understand the cause of your pain. A nerve block is a diagnostic and therapeutic treatment for pain.

If your pain is taking over your life and nothing helps, we can find the solution you’re looking for. Call our office today at 972-380-0000 or use the book online button to schedule an appointment.