Sympathetic Nerve Blocks Specialist

Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine -  - Interventional Pain Management

Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine

Interventional Pain Management Specialists & Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons located in Warren, MI

You may benefit from sympathetic nerve blocks when you have burning, tingling, or pain in your arms, hands, legs, or feet. These interventional pain management injections diagnose and treat pain conditions caused by the sympathetic nerves. Martin Quiroga, DO, MBA, and Eduardo Otero Loperena, MD, provide sympathetic nerve blocks at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine in Warren, Michigan. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Sympathetic Nerve Blocks Q & A

What are sympathetic nerve blocks?

Sympathetic nerve blocks are injections that diagnose and treat chronic pain conditions. During the infusion, your provider at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine administers an anesthetic near a sympathetic nerve.

Your sympathetic nervous system is a collection of nerves that control involuntary body functions, like blood flow and digestion. A problem involving your sympathetic nerves may affect blood flow, causing symptoms that affect your hands or feet, like burning or tingling sensations. 

Who needs sympathetic nerve blocks?

A sympathetic nerve block helps diagnose and treat several conditions caused by problems with the sympathetic nervous system. These conditions include:

  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Excessive sweating
  • Conditions that cause chronic stomach pain
  • Radiating pain from angina
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Nerve pain from a shingles infection

Sympathetic nerve blocks also ease pain from blood vessel spasms.

What are types of sympathetic nerve blocks?

There are two types of sympathetic nerve blocks: stellate ganglion blocks and lumbar sympathetic blocks. The location of your pain helps your provider determine which type of sympathetic nerve block you need.

Stellate ganglion blocks

If you have pain in your upper body, your provider performs stellate ganglion blocks -- an injection into the stellate ganglion, a sympathetic nerve in the front of your neck.

Lumbar sympathetic block

If you have pain in your lower body, your provider performs lumbar sympathetic blocks -- an injection into the lower back (lumbar spine) near the sympathetic nerve located in this part of your spine. 

What happens during sympathetic nerve blocks?

Sympathetic nerve blocks are an outpatient procedure. Your provider first places an intravenous line in your arm and may administer a sedative to help you relax.

While you lie on an X-ray table, your provider cleanses the skin at the site of your sympathetic nerve block and inserts a needle to administer a local anesthetic.

Using fluoroscopic guidance, your provider inserts a thin needle near the target sympathetic nerve and injects the anesthetic.

What happens after sympathetic nerve blocks?

After your sympathetic nerve block, you spend about an hour in the recovery area and then go home. You need to arrange to have someone drive you home and take it easy the rest of the day. 

Results following sympathetic nerve blocks vary. You may feel relief from your pain for a few days or a few weeks. Your provider at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine may recommend a series of injections to get the best results. 

For help with your extremity pain, call Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine or schedule an appointment online today.