Lumbar Sympathetic Block
A Sympathetic Block is a minimally invasive interventional pain management technique used to provide relief from pain caused from a number of conditions. It involves injecting medication into the groups of sympathetic nerves near the spine.
A sympathetic block may be used to diagnose and treat pain from conditions, such as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, neuropathy, phantom limb pain, circulatory insufficiency and post-herpetic neuralgia.
A lumbar sympathetic block involves injecting medications into a nerve bundle in the lower back.
The sympathetic nerves run along the spinal column, and are part of the autonomic nervous system. An imbalance to this system of nerves may cause chronic pain in the extremities. By injecting the medication around the sympathetic nerves, they are blocked from sending pain signals to the brain.
Stellate Ganglion Block
The stellate ganglion is a collection of nerves (sympathetic) found at the level of the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae (the last vertebra of the neck). The nerves are located in front of the vertebrae.
They are part of the sympathetic nervous system and supply the face and arm. These nerves are not involved with feeling or movement. Sometimes, after a nerve is sensitized by trauma, infection or other causes, the sympathetic nervous system can cause pain.
Blocking the sympathetic activity by anesthetizing the stellate ganglion may stop the pain. A stellate ganglion block (sympathetic block) is an injection of local anesthetic into the front of the neck around the stellate ganglion.
A stellate ganglion block is done to:
- Diagnose the cause of pain in the face and head, arms and chest
- Manage pain in the head, neck, chest or arm caused by nerve injuries, the effects of an attack of shingles (herpes zoster) that doesn’t go away
- Reduce sweating in the face, head, arms and hands
- Treat reflex sympathetic dystrophy, sympathetically maintained pain or complex regional pain syndrome
- A stellate ganglion block can be either diagnostic—done to find the cause of a patient’s pain—or therapeutic—done to relieve the pain.
Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block
The superior hypogastric plexus block is a procedure used to decrease pain in the pelvis. The superior hypogastric plexus is an area in front of the spine where nerves lie that transport pain sensations from the internal organs of the pelvis.
Hypogastric plexus blocks are injections of local anesthetic that help relieve pelvic pain. The pain may come from the colon, bladder, lower intestines, uterus or ovaries, prostate or testicles, or other parts of the pelvis.
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