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6 Conditions That Nerve Blocks Can Treat

The root of all your pain is … your brain? Any pain that you feel is caused by signals sent to your brain from your body and those signals are transmitted along your nerves. 

Think about when you touch a hot pan by accident. Your brain receives pain signals and registers that it hurts and you jerk your hand away, hopefully before you get a bad burn. 

Regardless of the source, it’s those signals between your body and your brain that create the perception of pain. What happens if that signal is blocked? 

At Foothill Pain Management, with locations in Glendale, California, and the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, Dr. Christopher J. Charbonnet suggests nerve blocks for patients who experience certain types of pain. 

It’s often a helpful treatment, allowing patients to live with less pain and enjoy life more. In this post, we explore how a nerve block works as well as six conditions nerve blocks can help. 

How nerve blocks work

When you have a nerve block, Dr. Charbonnet numbs the nerve that triggers your discomfort. Some common nerve blocks you may be familiar with include epidurals, cervical medial branch blocks, and peripheral nerve blocks.  

If you and Dr. Charbonnet decide a nerve block is an appropriate treatment for you, he injects an anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, or combination of medications into the affected nerve. This injection prevents irritation, inflammation, and pain. 

The medications work fast, turning off the receptors that cause the sensation of pain. Over time, the medications also provide long-term relief because without the irritation and inflammation, your nerves can heal. 

Common conditions nerve blocks can treat

There are many disorders that nerve blocks can treat, but six of the most common are: 

Nerve blocks may also be used as a diagnostic tool to locate the source of your pain. 

Your nerve block procedure

You most likely won’t need to do anything special to get ready for your appointment on the day you have a nerve block. The majority of people can eat and drink normally before a nerve block. 

If you’re worried about pain during the procedure, it may help to know that we numb the area before the injection so that you’re comfortable. Also, the needle used to deliver the medication to your nerve is smaller and thinner than you might expect. 

In some cases, Dr. Charbonnet uses contrast dye and a special kind of X-ray, called a fluoroscopy, to more precisely deliver the medications to exactly where they need to be. 

Once the nerve block is completed, we ask you to rest for 15-30 minutes while the medication takes effect. You should, however, notice the pain relief immediately. 

For most people, a nerve block lasts about 1-2 weeks. You may need a series of injections to reach long-term relief and give your nerve time to heal. 

If you think a nerve block could help you live with less pain, call the Foothill Pain Management location most convenient for you or book an appointment online. We’re happy to answer your questions and discuss your options.

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