Nerve Block

Nerve blocks offer a targeted and effective solution for managing chronic pain, and Southern Pain Specialists in Birmingham, Alabama, is at the forefront of providing expert care. Led by the experienced pain management specialist, Dr. Kenneth Varley, MD, our team specializes in administering nerve blocks as part of a comprehensive pain management approach. Nerve blocks involve the precise injection of medication to block pain signals along specific nerves, offering relief for various conditions such as chronic back pain, migraines, or neuropathic pain. At Southern Pain Specialists, we tailor these interventions to individual needs, striving to enhance your overall well-being and provide lasting relief from persistent pain. If you seek a personalized and effective approach to pain management through nerve blocks, consult with us to explore your options and regain control over your life.

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What Is a Nerve Block?

A nerve block is a type of injection that uses an anesthetic solution to numb the nerves that are causing your pain. Dr. Kenneth Varley performs nerve blocks using fluoroscopy or ultrasound to guide the needle to the exact location of your pain for the most precise treatment possible. Light electrical impulses may also be administered to your nerves during the procedure in order to locate the exact nerve that is causing your pain.

How Do Nerve Blocks Work?

As soon as the nerve block is injected into the epidural space — the fluid-filled space around your spinal cord — the anesthetic medication takes effect. It is quickly absorbed by your nerves in the area to block pain signals that are sent from your nerves to your brain. Since nerve blocks are placed at the nerve roots where they attach to your spinal cord, you get relief from the root to the end of your nerves, which may continue all the way to your fingers or toes, depending on which nerves are being treated.

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When Is a Nerve Block Recommended?

Dr. Varley recommends nerve blocks for patients suffering from chronic joint or nerve pain that hasn’t responded to other conservative treatments, like anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy. Conditions that can benefit from nerve blocks include:

  • Low back pain.
  • Sciatica.
  • Neck pain.
  • Arthritic pain in the spine.
  • Sacroiliac joint pain.
  • Facet joint pain.

To determine if a nerve block is right for you, Dr. Varley discusses your symptoms and previous treatments you’ve tried before performing a physical exam and ordering additional tests, like X-rays or a CT scan.

What Can I Expect When Getting a Nerve Block?

When you arrive for your nerve block procedure, Dr. Varley first cleans your skin and injects a numbing solution to minimize discomfort.

Mild sedation is administered before Dr. Varley inserts the needle for the nerve block using the appropriate imaging technology. He injects the nerve block solution and then removes the needle. This occurs in about 5-10 minutes. Nerve blocks typically take 15-20 minutes to work.

After your procedure is complete, Dr. Varley cleans your skin and applies a bandage. He provides after-care instructions and follows up within a few days to determine how you’re doing.

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Ready to Take Control of Your Pain?

Experience personalized care at Southern Pain Specialists. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kenneth Varley today.