Nerve blocks

Posted June, 2008

This site uses a term several times that we call a "nerve block." Dr. Robb may use this procedure to solve several different pain issues, but the procedure—for the most part—works in the same fashion for every application.

When you and Dr. Robb elect to use this procedure, he will inject a special solution of chemicals either into the epidural space (the area just outside of the spinal canal) of your spine or into another region where irritated sensory nerves are causing pain. This solution causes the nerves that trigger the pain to "die back." Once they're disabled, the pain they've been triggering should go away.

If you've ever done any gardening, you may be familiar with a product called "Round-Up®." You spray Round-Up on weeds in your garden, and shortly thereafter the weeds are all dead. Well, a nerve block works in virtually the same fashion as this weed killer.

Because the body has a built-in healing system (just like those pesky weeds in the garden) the nerves will eventually grow back. Depending on several factors that are too complex to explain here, how long it will take the pain to return widely varies.

For some patients, being able to return to physical activity may prevent pain from ever coming back. For others, they'll need to repeat the procedure at a later date. Most people get long-term relief (months at least, sometimes years free from pain).

Since it's a very simple technique, it's easy to just repeat it as the patient's pain load requires, thus keeping the patient's worst pain problems under control.