Lumbar Sympathetic Block Injections
The sympathetic nerves are a group of nerves found along the front side of the spinal column. They are part of the autonomic nervous system that controls bodily functions including sweating, heart rate, digestion and blood pressure. The sympathetic nerves in the lumbar region can send signals to the spinal cord and brain that results in pain or dysfunction. Caliber Pain™ utilizes lumbar sympathetic block injections as a tool for the diagnosis and treatment of some chronic pain disorders, available at our clinic in NYC.
Sometimes sympathetic nerves will continue to transmit pain from an injury even after the injury has healed. This can result in a condition known as chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Symptoms of CRPS include severe burning pain, swelling and skin color changes.
Benefits of a Sympathetic Nerve Block Injection
A lumbar sympathetic nerve block is a special test to help your doctor diagnose and treat your symptoms. During the test an anesthetic (numbing) medication combined with a steroid is injected near your spine. This “blocks” the sympathetic nerves in that region. If these nerves are causing your symptoms, the injection may offer relief for a while immediately after the procedure. The steroid may offer a longer-term benefit.
You may benefit from a sympathetic nerve block if you suffer chronic pain from:
- Complex regional pain syndrome Type 1 & 2
- Vascular insufficiency from small vessel blockage in the legs
- Phantom limb pain
- Herpes zoster infection (shingles) in the legs
- Painful diabetic neuropathy in the legs not relieved with medications
A lumbar sympathetic block can be both diagnostic and therapeutic. By administering numbing medicine in the area, we can gauge the amount of immediate pain relief you experience. If the pain goes away completely or to a great degree, we can confirm the source of pain. Along with the numbing medication, a steroid may be administered to reduce inflammation and provide long-term pain relief.
This procedure is an outpatient procedure, and if sedation is used, you may need an adult to supervise your trip home. To learn more about lumbar sympathetic block injections and our other interventional treatment options for chronic pain, contact Caliber Pain™ in Midtown Manhattan today.