These are outpatient injections that are performed to lessen the pain in the legs coming from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Pain Management Henderson NVThey may also be very helpful for pain coming from shingles, known as herpes zoster, cancer pain or pelvic pain and also pain from a phantom limb. In addition, if an individual is having peripheral vascular disease that is nonsurgical, a lumbar block can help relieve the symptoms by increasing vascularity.
CRPS and RSD are conditions categorized by hyperactivity of the body’s sympathetic nerves. This leads to severe pain and temperature changes and possibly skin changes in the affected areas. Treatment with opiates, chiropractic and physical therapy may help a lot, but one of the best ways to break the cycle of the overactive sympathetic nerves is a lumbar sympathetic block.
What a sympathetic block can do in the lumbar spine is to eliminate the overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. This can effectively “stop the cycle” of sympathetic overactivity and effectively change a person’s life by decreasing the pain.
In the lower lumbar spine usually between L2 and L4, there is a collection of nerve fibers known as the sympathetic chain. These nerves perform functions that humans don’t really Lumbar Sympathetic Blockhave to think about and constitute part of the autonomic nervous system. This includes constricting or dilating blood vessels, movement of the G.I. tract, sexual arousal, heart rate and more.
In the case of an injury to the body such as a fall or a car accident and maybe even a normal arthroscopic knee surgery, the sympathetic nerves may become overstimulated.
This may lead to constriction of blood vessels and poor circulation to the lower extremities. Swelling and pain may result along with color changes and decreased temperature along with mail and skin changes. The sympathetic block can reverse these changes by increasing circulation.
Sympathetic blocks in the lumbar spine work very well for:
- Cancer pain
- Pelvic pain
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Phantom limb pain
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Herpes zoster pain (shingles)
- Vasospastic disorder of the legs
If the block was placed in the right spot, usually patients notice right away the legs are warmer and their veins have a full feeling. Typically a 2° Celsius increase in temperature means the block was successful.
Lumbar sympathetic blocks are excellent pain relieving procedures for CRPS and RSD. Often times, opiates are not a great pain reliever for these conditions and the blocks may be the best method.
The use of phenol can provide pain relief from anywhere from a few weeks to upwards of the year. So the results are variable and Las Vegas Pain Doctors may also consider using a radiofrequency ablation technique for a longer duration of Pain Relief as well.
The risks of lumbar sympathetic blocks are very small but real. There is a mild risk of infection, bleeding or nerve injury. The biggest risk of the procedure is that it may not work to relieve pain from the condition.
One unusual risk is that a collapsed lung could be experienced with in accurate needle placement, which is known as a pneumothorax. Also an allergic reaction could be seen into one of the medications used. There may also be some temporary numbness of the legs and motor deficits.