Getting A Nerve Block
Many patients suffer with severe, chronic pain and nerve blocks can be an integral part of their treatment. A Nerve Block is a procedure in which an anesthetic agent is injected directly near a nerve to block pain. A local anesthetic or steroid injected directly to the area of the affected nerve can help with pain control. Essentially it is a form of regional anesthesia and disrupts the pain signals travelling to the brain. Ultimately it can improve function and the quality of life for those suffering. Often, the goal is to help people avoid surgery and to take an active role in physical therapy.

Why A Nerve Block?

Several different types of nerve blocks serve different purposes. Nerve block injections can help patients with nerve damage or arthritic joint pain in the lower back and neck. They can also help alleviate the nerve pain caused by a herniated disc, neuropathy, neuralgia, and to treat many other painful conditions. However, it’s your choice to have a nerve block. Talk with your doctor to determine the best procedure for the type of pain you are experiencing.

The Nerve Block Needle

No one actually likes needles, but some tolerate them more than others. Arthritic patients may experience up to six needles, but most procedures are less involving. And generally, the procedure only lasts five to 15 minutes. Sometimes, a local anesthetic or even IV sedation will be used. Overall, you’ll spend most of your time preparing and recovering from the procedure afterwards. Have a fear of needles? Talk with your physician and look forward to the results.

Your Nerve Block Experience

Every patient’s pain experience is different, and people respond differently to treatments. Some may experience immediate relief, while others may experience a series of injections before it helps the pain. Also, if you have had chronic pain for 10 or more years, it could involve multiple pain generators. In the spine, it’s possible that your first injection will take away some of the pain but that other injections will offer more improvement. Additionally, injections are typically combined with other forms of treatment such as physical therapy to increase your chances of getting better.

Post Procedure

You can expect some discomfort or soreness after the treatment. The local anesthetic doesn’t last long and for some, it may take a while for the steroid to work and provide a long-term benefit. The peak effect of the steroid will usually be between three and 10 days. It is slowly released into the body, and for some people, there is an interval before you start to feel the improvement. Your response to the first injection helps guide your doctor about future treatments as he or she works to pinpoint the nerve that is causing your pain.

How Often?

How often should you receive Nerve Block treatments? Essentially it’s based on your medical history and your physician’s preferences. Usually you can repeat this procedure from three to six times in a 12-month period. If you have any other medical conditions, such as diabetes, your doctor will need to make injections less frequent. Ultimately, the goal of nerve block injections is to decrease your pain, increase your function and, for some patients, allow more aggressive physical therapy.

Contact Michigan Pain Consultants Today

Exciting medical breakthroughs occur each day and continue to keep Michigan Pain Consultants at the forefront of providing effective pain management programs in the West Michigan area.

Make an appointment for a new patient consultation with one of their board-certified pain physicians. All of Michigan Pain Consultant’s physicians are Board Certified in Anesthesiology or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and have advanced training and experience in Pain Medicine. You can begin first by visiting online at,, or by calling them at (800)281-3237.

With six locations throughout West Michigan, Michigan Pain Consultants comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to pain care offers patients and providers renewed hope for relief from chronic pain. Chronic pain should be treated like other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or congestive heart failure. Chronic pain requires chronic treatment. The goal of the treatment is to optimize the management of the pain, as opposed to curing the pain.