Nerve Blocks
A nerve block can either be diagnostic or used for long term pain relief. The most common complaint that responds to nerve blockade is back pain and sciatica. Caudal injections, epidurals, sacro-iliac injections, piriformis blocks, nerve root blocks and facet joint injections all help to diagnose the source of the pain and often provide up to 3 months of pain relief.
Nerve blocks may achieve long term pain control. If however pain relief is short lived radio frequency lesioning may well be indicated.
It is unusual for injections to be used on their own. They form part of an overall strategy often in conjunction with psychotherapy, drug therapy, physiotherapy, and lifestyle modification.
The period of time free of pain that an injection can provide is often very useful to help motivate a previously sedentary patients. A painful episode can be a great motivator to change a lifestyle. This may include regular exercise, weight loss, posture change and a change to a work or rest environment.
All nerve blocks can only be performed by trained specialist practitioners under controlled environments to reduce the risk to the patient, and must form part of an overall multi disciplinary strategy.
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