Austin is the state capital of Texas and is considered to be one of the most rapidly growing metropolitan areas in the United States. It is also the largest city in the state, with over 950,000 people living within its city limits. Like many other cities worldwide, many people live with chronic pain disorders in Austin. One solution to chronic pain is nerve blocks. There are different types of nerve blocks in Austin, including:
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Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks
Anesthesiologists perform sympathetic ganglion blocks. They are performed to stop pain signals that travel along with the sympathetic nervous system before they reach the brain, which is thought to reduce or eliminate chronic pain.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections involve injecting cortisone medications into the epidural space surrounding nerve roots to stop pain signals that travel along the spinal cord.
Selective Nerve Root Blocks
Pain physicians perform selective nerve root blocks to alleviate chronic pain symptoms. They are performed by injecting medications directly into an affected nerve root with minimal side effects. Selective nerve root blocks are used to treat neck pain, back pain, sciatica, or joint pain caused by pinched nerves.
Lumbar Sympathetic Block
A lumbar sympathetic block is performed by radiologists in which they inject a spinal anesthetic medication into the spine. It is used to treat complex regional pain syndrome or reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
Ultrasound-Guided Nerve Blocks
Anesthesiologists use ultrasounds to guide injections at specific nerve locations within the body without making large incisions. Ultrasound-guided nerve blocks are most often used for nerve pain relief.
Peripheral Nerve Blocks
A pain physician performs peripheral nerve blocks with specific training in performing this particular type of anesthesia. They involve an injection into a peripheral nerve, which provides targeted relief to the area where the injection was administered while avoiding negative consequences on nearby organs and tissues.
Sympathetic Plexus Blocks
A pain physician performs a sympathetic plexus block to relieve chronic pain symptoms. They involve blocking the nerve signals that travel along the sympathetic nervous system using medications and injection directly into the spinal canal.
Endoscopic-Assisted Nerve Blocks
During an endoscopic-assisted procedure, spinal anesthetic medication is injected through a syringe or catheter by insertion into the subarachnoid space through the patient’s back. Endoscopic-assisted nerve blocks are most often used for hand, wrist, or arm pain resulting from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Facet Joint or Medial Branch Nerve Blocks
Pain physicians perform facet joint and medial branch nerve blocks to alleviate chronic low back or neck pain symptoms. These injections target the condition’s cause and can be repeated as needed after the patient response assessment.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Blocks
Pain physicians perform a sacroiliac joint block via an injection into the SI joint to relieve low back pain. This type of nerve block is often combined with a facet joint nerve block to help improve overall results for chronic or complex regional pain syndrome.
Nerve blocks are the most commonly performed procedures for treating chronic pain outside of medication. They can provide long-term relief and are often performed at multiple levels throughout the body.