Sympathetic Vs Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Sympathetic Vs Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Pain is one of the most difficult symptoms patients experience. This is because pain is a particularly difficult symptom to treat because people experience pain in such different ways. Some people have very high pain tolerance, and may never complain about pain. Whereas other people have very low pain tolerance and may have their daily life affected negatively by pain. Many patients suffering from pain fail to visit a pain management clinic, and this is one of the worst mistakes a patient can make. If you are suffering from pain that is affecting your everyday life, it is imperative to schedule a visit with a Chicago pain clinic doctor. These physicians specialize in unique pain management techniques, one of which is nerve blocks.


           Nerve blocks are used by pain management specialists for patients who are suffering pain that has not resolved with other treatments. The initial step in dealing with pain is typically medication. However, medication often loses its effectiveness over time and is more of a short term treatment. As patients build up a tolerance to medication, they become more likely to develop dependence or addiction. As a result, many physicians prefer other alternatives in addition to medication.


           Nerve blocks are a great way to help patients suffering from pain. Groups of nerves exist in the body and are referred to as a plexus or ganglion. During a nerve block, numbing medication is injected into this specific area of the body, which prevents pain signals from being transmitted to the brain. Peripheral nerve blocks are a type of regional anesthesia. The anesthetic fluid is injected near the nerve bundle that is causing pain. Peripheral nerve blocks are not permanent and patients will need to go in periodically to have more anesthetic medication injected into the nerve.


           Sympathetic nerve blocks are performed when pain is coming from the sympathetic nerve chain. This network of nerves surrounds the spine. While they normally control involuntary functions such as blood vessels narrowing and widening, they can also cause painful impulses. During sympathetic nerve blocks, anesthetic medication is injected directly into the sympathetic nerves around the spine. The process typically takes 20-30 minutes and the patient is monitored for an hour or so afterward. As patients continue the injections periodically, most patients notice they can increase the amount of time between visits due to pain relief.


           Chronic pain can ruin a person’s life. Conditions such as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, facial pain, pelvic pain, or phantom limb pain can all diminish a person’s quality of life. People who suffer from these conditions may miss days of work, miss time with family, and may even begin to feel depressed. Patients who are suffering from chronic pain are best served by visiting a pain management specialist Chicago area. These physicians can offer procedures, such as nerve blocks, that may not be offered in other specialists’ offices. Early treatment is the key to pain. Do not delay, visit a pain management specialist today.