What does a lumbar sympathetic block do?
Fundamentally, a lumbar sympathetic block is an injection of medication to relieve some kinds of pain like leg and back pain, and certain conditions like dystrophy. Even a single injection can provide patients with much needed relief, and one or more injections can offer relief from sciatica, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, complex regional pain syndrome, vascular insufficiency, peripheral neuropathy, and some cases of shingles.
Pain relief is the primary goal for professionals who recommend a lumbar sympathetic block. For some patients, some relief comes right after an injection, but the steroid usually takes two or three days to work before long-term pain relief comes. Most of the time, patients require a small series of injections to keep the pain from returning. Generally, this is anywhere from two to ten injections, but it could be more. However, after the injections, the patient can expect long-lasting pain relief.
How does a lumbar sympathetic block work?
Your sympathetic nerves are located in your lower back, on each side of your spine. These nerves and the surrounding area are what a doctor will target during an injection. The doctor will inject a local anesthetic and steroid medication into the area, which will eventually reduce pain in the area.
First, the doctor will give you an intravenous medication to help you relax, then the doctor will numb you with local anesthetic. After that, the doctor will use an X-ray machine to guide the rest of the procedure. With this guidance, the doctor will inject a simple dye to ensure that the medication will be administered into the correct area, and finally, the doctor will inject the steroid medication. The entire procedure takes 30 minutes or less, then you’re done and you can go home! Just one day after the procedure, you’ll be able to return to all of your normal activities.
Patients might experience some soreness and/or bruising after an injection. One of the many benefits of lumbar sympathetic blocks is that they have a low risk of complications. Bleeding and infection are uncommon and can be treated by the doctor.
Who are the best candidates for lumbar sympathetic blocks?
For patients with lower back pain or leg pain, an injection or small series of injections can work very well. Patients with pain related to complex regional pain syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and other chronic conditions can benefit too. And if you’ve already tried other treatments and they just haven’t worked for you, then you will likely make a good candidate for a lumbar sympathetic block.
We invite you to get in touch with us here at Ramos Center to learn more about your pain and what we can do about it. We can provide you with a number of effective, minimally invasive, and lasting treatment options, and if we decide a lumbar sympathetic block would be right for you, then we’ll proceed with treatment.
Do you provide lumbar sympathetic blocks in Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice, FL?
Yes, we do! In fact, we have a clinic in each city. You can visit our Locations page for their addresses and for directions, and you can also call us to book a consultation with us. We’ll look at your medical history and history of pain to see if you’ll be a good candidate for a lumbar sympathetic block.
We hope to see you and relieve your pain soon here at Ramos Center.
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