Nerve blocks give doctors key information about the source of pain many men and women face. From neck to back pain, nerve blocks serve as minimally invasive diagnostic tools and treatments for those experiencing chronic pain.
Are Faulty Nerve Signals Interfering with Your Quality of Life?
Up to 10% of Americans experience chronic pain that stems from nerve damage, irritation, or inflammation. Board-certified anesthesiologist and interventional pain management specialist Frank Ocasio, MD, understands the frustration of nerve pain. At North Shore Headache and Spine in Huntington, New York, he uses nerve blocks to diagnose and treat chronic pain at the source of your discomfort.
What are nerve blocks?
A nerve block is an injectable medication that contains an anesthetic, which temporarily numbs the pain. Dr. Ocasio injects the nerve block into the space surrounding the faulty nerve. The medicine simultaneously treats the discomfort and confirms your diagnosis by blocking the nerve from sending pain signals to your brain.
How to tell if you have nerve pain
Unlike muscle pain, which feels localized, nerve pain is often widespread. Nerve pain can stretch from your back down your legs or through your arms. It may also cause tingling, burning, weakness, or numbness.
Types of nerve pain:
Trigeminal nerve pain affects the nerve that brings sensation to your face. Pain from trigeminal neuralgia often feels shock-like and may diminish your ability to chew or speak. Anybody can develop trigeminal nerve pain, but it’s most common in women over the age of 50.
The occipital nerve sits inside the third and fourth vertebrae in your neck. It stretches across the scalp and both sides of the head. When irritated, this nerve can cause severe pain and heightened sensitivity along the side of the head, ears, and scalp.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to nerve damage that occurs outside of the spine. More often than not, peripheral nerve pain stems from a herniated disc or compression injury. Diabetes can also cause peripheral neuropathy that causes pain, weakness, and tingling in the legs and feet.
Postherpetic nerve pain can occur if you have shingles. This localized infection causes a one-sided rash and can damage nerve fibers in the area.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With nerve blocks?
Dr. Ocasio recommends nerve blocks as complementary treatments for many musculoskeletal conditions, such as:
What Is A nerve block Treatment Like?
Dr. Ocasio performs nerve blocks under ultrasound guidance, fluoroscopic guidance, or both. An ultrasound provides direct visualization of the target nerves and surrounding structures. A fluoroscopy is a type of X-ray that produces real-time moving images, allowing your procedure to be performed with precision. Depending on the location of your injection, Dr. Ocasio may offer you a mild sedative before administering a local anesthetic.
Next, he uses fluoroscopy to directly guide the needle into the space surrounding the suspected damaged nerve. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes, and most patients feel noticeable relief within just one hour. If you take a sedative, make sure to arrange a ride home after the procedure.
What to expect after a nerve block
Nerve blocks are a temporary solution for chronic nerve pain. Most medications only last about 1-2 weeks after the procedure before your body absorbs them. If you experience noticeable relief from a nerve block, Dr. Ocasio may recommend more permanent solutions for your pain, such as:
Contact Our Pain Management Clinic for Nerve Pain Relief Today
Nerve blocks are fast, minimally invasive treatments that can substantially reduce nerve pain without surgery or downtime. To find out if nerve blocks are right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ocasio. Contact us today at our Huntington, New York office.
Why Choose North Shore Headache and Spine?
INNOVATIVE TREATMENTS &
With our in-office diagnostic imaging, dozens of innovative treatments, and full regenerative medicine service offerings, we are able to examine, diagnose, and treat patients experiencing chronic pain all under one roof.
Instead of masking symptoms with a quick-fix approach, we focus on every lifestyle aspect to determine the root causes of pain and develop non-narcotic solutions.
Our team values each and every one of our patients. We understand the toll that chronic pain takes on your physical and mental health, and we’re committed to listening to your concerns and creating the right treatent plan for you.
Pain Management Treatment Options
North Shore Headache and Spine offers the latest modalities for pain treatment, including, but not limited to:
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) utilizes your body’s natural healing abilities to repair hard and soft tissue damage. PRP concentrates parts of your blood that contain healing growth factors. By running your blood through a centrifuge, we can isolate these restorative substances and inject it back into your tissues to promote healing.
Adding mesenchymal stem cells to your regenerative treatment can accelerate your recovery. Dr. Ocasio removes these stem cells directly from your own bone marrow and injects them back into your body along with bone marrow centrate which is rich in growth factors and cytokines that can help reduce inflammation and aid in regeneration.
Central and Peripheral Stimulation
Central and peripheral nerve stimulation involves using electric devices to disrupt pain signals from damaged nerves.
RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION AND CRYONEUROLYSIS
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a pain management treatment that uses heat to destroy tissue and prevent pain signals from being sent to the brain. Cryoneurolysis is a nerve-blocking technology to help reduce chronic pain due to nerve damage.
Intracept Basivertebral Nerve Ablation
The Intracept Procedure is a minimally invasive treatment that targets the basivertebral nerve, which is often responsible for lower back pain.
Epidural Blood Patch
An epidural blood patch treatment involves drawing the patient’s blood and re-injecting it into the epidural space to “patch” the tear or leak in the dura of the spine.
Epidural, Steroid, and Trigger Point Injections
Steroid injections, including epidurals and trigger point injections, introduce anti-inflammatory medications into your area of pain to simultaneously alleviate chronic pain and treat inflammation.