Different nerve blocks help different problems.

  • Therapeutic nerve blocks treat pain. These contain long acting local anesthetics (numbing medicines that last for a short time).
  • Diagnostic nerve blocks can locate the cause of pain. These also contain short acting anesthetics. If the pain goes away for several hours, the block has properly diagnosed the cause of the pain.
  • Prognostic nerve blocks predict the treatment outcomes. These blocks before more permanent treatments (such as surgery).
  • Preemptive nerve blocks prevent pain from starting. They are used in surgery.

Nerve blocks often help you avoid surgery.

It is possible to block many different nerves.

A few of the available nerve blocks include:

  • Trigeminal blocks (face)
  • Ophthalmic blocks (eyelids and scalp)
  • Occipital blocks (back of head)
  • Supraorbital blocks (forehead)
  • Maxillary blocks (upper jaw)
  • Sphenopalatine block (nose and palate)
  • Cervical epidural blocks (neck)
  • Cervical plexus blocks (shoulder and neck)
  • Brachial plexus blocks (arm)
  • Elbow blocks (forearm)
  • Wrist blocks (hand)
  • Thoracic epidural blocks (mid-back)
  • Celiac plexus blocks (abdomen and pelvis)
  • Lumbar epidural blocks (lower back)
Every medical procedure has risks.

The side effects of blocks are related to the medications used and the placement of the needle. The side effects are almost always temporary. The common problems include: elevated blood sugar; rash; itching, weight gain; anxiety; soreness at the site of the block; numbness; weakness; and, bleeding.






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Last modified: 07/27/08