Sympathetic Nerve Blocks Specialist

The Rehab Doctors

Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Board Certified in Sports Medicine located in Rapid City, SD

A sympathetic nerve block is a minimally invasive treatment to relieve chronic pain. The board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists at The Rehab Doctors treat various chronic pain conditions with sympathetic nerve blocks at their office in Rapid City, South Dakota. Call The Rehab Doctors, or schedule a consultation online today, to learn more about sympathetic nerve blocks and how they reduce pain.

Sympathetic Nerve Blocks Q & A

What is a sympathetic nerve block?

Your sympathetic nerves control involuntary body functions like digestion, sweating, and circulation. While your sympathetic nerves don’t control your ability to feel sensations or move, they can cause pain when damaged. 

A sympathetic nerve block is a pain management therapy that uses a local anesthetic to “switch off” the nerves and stop them from sending pain signals. The Rehab Doctors’ team uses sympathetic nerve blocks to diagnose and treat pain. 

Why would I need a sympathetic nerve block?

Your doctor might recommend a sympathetic nerve block for several reasons, including:

  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RDS)
  • Causalgia
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Blood vessel spasms
  • Vascular insufficiency
  • Neuropathy 
  • Shingles (herpes zoster infection)
  • Phantom limb pain 
  • Chronic stomach pain 

Depending on the location of your pain, The Rehab Doctors’ team provides sympathetic nerve blocks at various locations in your spine. 

How do I know if a sympathetic nerve block is right for me?

The Rehab Doctors’ team provides comprehensive exams to evaluate your condition and identify the best treatment to relieve your pain. They review your medical history and symptoms and ask about any medications, vitamins, or supplements you regularly take.

Your physician might use diagnostic imaging studies or nerve conduction studies to collect more information about your condition. 

What happens during a sympathetic nerve block?

When you have a sympathetic nerve block, your physician provides a sedative to keep you comfortable and relaxed during treatment. They clean the skin covering your injection site on your neck or back. 

Your physician injects a local anesthetic into the area to prepare you for the sympathetic nerve block. They use fluoroscopic X-rays to guide the needle to the correct ganglion (group) of sympathetic nerves before injecting an anesthetic medicine into them. 

What should I expect after a sympathetic nerve block?

When the anesthesia wears off, your physician asks you to complete some movements to determine if the sympathetic nerve block is successful. They give you aftercare instructions, and a friend or family member can drive you home.

You might have immediate pain relief, or you might need a few hours or a couple of days for the full effects of your sympathetic nerve block to kick in. Some patients might have some minor tenderness, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. 

Don’t give up on finding relief from chronic pain. Call The Rehab Doctors, or make an appointment online today, for expert, customized care.