Pros And Cons Of Nerve Blocks For Long-Term Back Pain Relief

If you've been struggling with back pain for a long while and are not interested in surgery, then you will definitely want to explore your non-surgical back pain treatment options. Long-term, relying on pain relief medications alone is not usually a good idea. A nerve block is a treatment for ongoing back pain that should help you reduce your reliance on pain relievers, if not stop taking them altogether. However, a nerve block is not perfect for every back pain patient. Here are some pros and cons to consider as you decide whether to undergo this procedure.

Pro: A nerve block is given under local anesthetic.

You don't need to be put under general anesthesia for a nerve block, which means you don't have to worry about fasting before the procedure. You also do not need to worry about not waking up, or about the side effects of general anesthesia. Your doctor will simply inject a local anesthetic to numb the area, and then they will inject the nerve block medication into the nerves most closely associated with your back pain. The injection will be either in or right next to your spine.

Con: There is a risk of nerve damage.

While side effects of nerve blocks are not common, some people do experience nerve damage as a result of this treatment. If your doctor injects too close to the nerve, damage can result, and this can lead to tingling or permanent loss of sensation in some areas.

Pro: The treatment lasts a while.

There are several types of nerve blocks, but the type used to manage back pain tends to last a few weeks to a few months. Every patient is a little different; you'll have to find out for yourself exactly how long the shots will last. Either way, this is a long-lasting treatment and not something that you need to take every day. 

Con: You may need to take a fluorescent solution.

Often, a doctor will use a fluoroscope ultrasound to guide them as they insert the needle into your back. This means you'll have to drink a fluorescent solution prior to the test, which most people don't find pleasant.

Consider these pros and cons, and talk to your doctor about a nerve block as an option for managing your back pain. This option works well for a lot of people with back pain due to herniated discs, spinal compression, and old fractures. 

Contact a local back pain management facility to learn more.