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Sympathetic Nerve Blocks

The sympathetic nerves run in chains down the spine and branch out to multiple organs and structures in the body. These nerves are important for the regulation of blood flow, sweating, and glandular function. Sympathetic nerve dysfunction can cause chronic pain as in complex region pain syndrome (CRPS). Blocking the sympathetic nerves can be useful to desensitize the nerves,
improve pain, and diagnose a source of chronic pain.

Stellate Ganglion Block

An injection in which local anesthetic medication is injected through the front of the neck to block the sympathetic nerves innervating the face and upper extremity. Blocking these nerves helps end pain in the face, arms, and hands.

Lumbar Sympathetic Block

An injection in which local anesthetic medication is placed along the nerve plexus in front of the lumbar spine. This block treats pain in the legs and feet.

Superior Hypogastric Block

This injection blocks a particular plexus of nerves at the L5 vertebra. These nerves are responsible for sensation in the bladder, prostate, rectum, and other organs of the pelvis. It is a procedure can be effective in the treatment of pelvic pain.

What to expect after a sympathetic nerve block

After a sympathetic nerve block, patients can feel a change in the temperature of the affected limb/area.

Patients may experience significant pain relief of the affected limb/area. The pain relief can be substantial and long-lasting. However, some patients require a series of sympathetic blocks to achieve long term pain relief.