Lumbar Sympathetic Block

What is a Lumbar Sympathetic Block?

 
A Lumbar Sympathetic block is a diagnostic procedure, which involves placing a local anesthetic such as Novocaine in or near the area of the spine that controls the sympathetic nerves.

The group of nerves that control the leg and foot is the Lumbar Sympathetic Chain.

Our pain providers will evaluate and diagnose if the root cause of pain is related to the sympathetic nerves consult with each patient to identify their discomfort level, pain level and any other related symptoms or concerns.
 

What are the Sympathetic Nerves?

 
The sympathetic nerves are a group of nerves that run in front of the spinal column. They are part of the autonomic nervous system and control many types of bodily functions such as sweating, blood pressure and digestion. Occasionally, these nerves can be injured causing pain. This can result in a condition known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS, formerly known as RSD or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Sometimes the injury can be minor such as a sprain. Other causes of sympathetically mediated pain include Herpes Zoster or Shingles, Raynaud’s Disease, Phantom Limb Pain, Cancer, frostbite or other vascular problems.
 

How Do I Know if the Sympathetic Nerves are the Cause of My Pain?

 
Pain from a problem in the sympathetic nervous system can be confined to an arm or leg or develop to include several body areas. The symptoms of a problem with the sympathetic nerves can be pain, which can be described as “burning” in nature. Sometimes, there is increased or decreased temperature in the affected area. The area can initially have increased sweating or a change in the hair or nails.

Our doctors will examine you to determine whether the cause of your pain may be related to the sympathetic nerves. Often he may suggest a diagnostic procedure, which involves placing a local anesthetic such as Novocaine in or near the area of the spine that controls the sympathetic nerves.

If, after the injection, the pain disappears or lessens then the sympathetic nerves may be a cause of your pain.

Note from the Doctor

As a multi-specialty pain management team, we are committed to educating our patients through the process of sympathetic blocks and are happy to answer any questions.

 

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