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Initial nerve block consultation - what questions should I ask, if any?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Spinal Injections
Hello all,

This may be a bit premature, but thank you for letting me post my question here. This whole spinal injection thing is totally new to me.

I have an appointment on May 14 for my first consultation with a pain management center that specializes in the treatment of chronic pain.

I was told that I have permanent nerve damage in my lumbar spine and that the only option is to treat the pain.

When I called the clinic, they told me that they inject a local anesthetic near the nerve roots to 'desensitize' the nerves. They didn't mention anything about steroids or anything like that, so I presume it would be just like going to the dentist and getting a local anesthetic to numb the nerve while your root canal is being done and that after a period of time, the pain would come back.

One neurosurgeon that I saw recently suggested that someone in my situation might do better with some sort of an epidural steroid injection (I guess the effects are longer lasting) but I haven't yet approached my primary care physician with that question.

If anyone could give me some suggestions as to what questions I should ask when I go for my initial consultation with the 'needle guys', I would really appreciate it!

Thanks a bunch,




  • I recently was referred to the first PM md that I actually like. I am in your situation as well though. He mentioned I should do nerve block injections and that we'd talk more about it on my next appointment...while surfing here I came across your post, but no replies yet.

    Hopefully somebody out there can shed some light? I saw some youtube videos of it and to tell you the truth it looks kinda invasive and scary. If I could be pain free and not have to take opioids it would be worth it though.

    I guess I'd just like to know how well they work, for how long, and if there's any pain associated with the actual injection that might outweigh the benefits.

    Thanks! And to OP, I hope somebody can help us out!
  • I had my first set of injections 1 weeks ago, he also referred to them as nerve block injections. He said it wouldn't go into any nerves, just near the nerves and that it wasn't painful.

    Reluctantly, I said yes. Mostly because I'm sick of living almost constantly on drugs for pain and I was really hoping something could help, for good. So I laid down on the table and he had an assistant spray a numbing (very cold) solution to the injection site as he did both injections. The first one on the left side of my lumbar spine hurt like hell, and I'm pretty good with pain. It hurt to the point that I actually felt my body jerk in reaction to it before I could even register the pain. The second shot was completely different (lower down, near the sacrum, on the right side)...I hardly felt a thing. I figured the pain was normal because he didn't react to me jumping.

    Since those injections I have had severe shooting pains in the area of the left injection. It's like a stab and then it spreads, a pain I've not ever had before so I know it's not just my discs or something I had prior. This is a new pain and it SUCKS big time. Everytime I put my left foot down when walking I get a shooting pain. I get it just sitting, laying, no matter what position I'm in, it's still there. I have been using my opioids more than ever since these injections.

    I think I made a very premature decision and didn't ask enough questions. I also signed something in a hurry on my way out the door. Probably releasing them from any legal responsibility. The doctor is now on vacation and I don't know what to do. I'm really scared I made a bad decision. So to the OP, please make sure you ask a lot of questions, ask about side effects, the possibility of more pain, etc. AND please make sure to read what you sign. I'm kicking myself everyday for rushing out that door. Good luck to you both.
  • I have had injections that seemed to help for a short time, and injections that have not seemed to help at all, and one that seemed to make things worse-but it was a nerve block, and lasted only a short time.

    I have ALWAYS been sedated before the injections, and have actually never felt much injection site pain following the injections.

    I think the most important things to ask about would be what is the injection expected to accomplish, how you should expect to feel afterwards, and if the procedure itself will be painful.

    There is always going to be the consent form that lists the risks involved with the procedure.

    Some people report great success with injections, some, not so much.

    I hope this helps.

    (RN-when do you graduate?)
  • Thanks for your input. I'm feeling really hopeless today, so your reply is much appreciated. I wasn't sedated for the injections, I actually wasn't even asked about it, I had no idea that it was an option.

    I'm due to graduate 1 year from now. However; I'm really starting to get down about my future. I don't even know if I'll be able to finish school if this pain doesn't subside....I'm literally hoping for a miracle, I actually start summer classes in 2 days and I'm just hoping that I can make it. I'm so afraid that after all this hard work I'll end up getting kicked from the program and ending up on disability, and being an RN is my true dream career and my most important goal in life. Right now I'm just super down and out about this new pain and I really hope it doesn't affect my grades.

    Please wish me luck! I need it so badly right now. Thanks again for your reply.
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