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Effectiveness of nerve blocks?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Spinal Stenosis
My cardiologist finally released me to be off Plavix and aspirin long enough to have a medical procedure done. The pain management doc is pushing really hard for me to have nerve blocks, but I'm unsure about them. I've read lots of reports here and elsewhere that they're generally only effective for a very short period of time. I'd like to hear from folks who have had them, both the good and the bad. If you've had them, how effective were they?

I have lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. I'm also seeing a orthopedist next week to get his opinion and hopefully also check on my cervical spine which seems to also have some problems.


  • Most spinal specialists always begin with conservative treatments, with surgery being recommended after a failure of conservative measures. Whether this is just common sense, insurance requirements or a combination, I do not know.

    Depending on what is causing your back pain, an epidural spinal injection might be offered or a nerve block might be tried. The injections are often tried in a set of three, several weeks apart.

    I would suggest you begin with an accurate diagnosis from a fellowship-trained spinal specialist before going ahead with any injections. The pain management doctor may have different methods of treatment than the spinal specialist might suggest. It makes sense to begin with the doctor who has the most training with issues of the spine and back, and proceed from there.

    None of us can answer your question about the effectiveness of a nerve block. Every person is so different when it comes to how he or she will respond, what the initial problems are, etc.

    We could all tell you we had absolutely NO positive results. However, you might turn out to be the one in four that it works great for, allowing you to completely avoid any surgical procedures. No one will know this until it is tried.

    Good luck. Let us know what the ortho thinks you should do.
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