Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks for Pain Management

A lumbar sympathetic block is a type of injection that is used to treat chronic pain in the lower back. The injection is given near the lumbar sympathetic nerves, which are a part of the sympathetic nervous system. These nerves are involved in the body’s “fight or flight” response and can be a source of pain in some people. By injecting a local anesthetic near the sympathetic nerves, the lumbar sympathetic block can block the pain signals from being sent to the brain and provide relief. 

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Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks Treated Conditions

  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy – Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD), now classified as one form of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is a disorder that results in chronic pain, most often in an arm or leg. The condition develops after injuries such as a stroke, heart attack, or injury
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) – Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that is often characterized by severe pain, swelling, and changes in the color and temperature of the skin in the affected area. The cause of CRPS is not well understood, but it is thought to be the result of damage to or malfunction of the nervous system. 
  • Vascular insufficiency – Vascular insufficiency is a condition in which the blood vessels are not able to effectively transport blood to the tissues and organs in the body. This can be due to a variety of factors, including blockages or narrowing of the blood vessels, damage to the blood vessel walls, or problems with the way the blood vessels relax and contract. Vascular insufficiency can lead to a range of symptoms, depending on the specific area of the body that is affected.  
  • Peripheral neuropathy – Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that occurs when the peripheral nervous system, which involves the nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body, is damaged. 
  • Frostbite – Frostbite occurs when skin tissue freezes after prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures.  
  • Shingles (herpes zoster) – Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that affects the nerves and causes a painful rash. 
  • Diabetic neuropathy – Diabetic neuropathy is caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the walls of the small blood vessels that supply the nerves, leading to nerve damage.  
  • Wounds or ulcers that are not healing well – Some underlying disorders, such as diabetes, poor blood flow, infection, or malnutrition, can prevent the body from effectively healing wounds or ulcers.  
  • Certain types of cancer pain – Pain and discomfort associated with different forms of Cancer can be felt in any part of the body and can range from moderate to severe.  

Why Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers?

Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers is the perfect treatment destination for lumbar sympathetic block treatments. With years of experience providing New Orleans patients with high-quality treatment for chronic pain, our staff is eager to provide the care you need. Get in touch with us today to speak with one of our board-certified doctors and determine if Lumbar Sympathetic Block treatment is right for you. 

Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks FAQ

A lumbar sympathetic block is a procedure in which a local anesthetic is injected into the sympathetic nerves in the lumbar region of the spine. This is typically done using X-ray guidance to ensure that the anesthetic is delivered to the correct location. The procedure is typically done as a diagnostic test to determine if the sympathetic nerves are contributing to the patient’s pain, or as a temporary treatment to provide pain relief. 

For some patients, their pain subsides immediately after they get the injection. But it may come back a few hours later when the anesthetic starts to wear off. For most people, though, the pain starts going away in two to three days once the steroid begins working. 

In preparation for a lumbar sympathetic nerve block, discussing any medical conditions, allergies, or medications with your doctor is essential. Additionally, you should avoid drinking alcohol and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) for at least 24 hours before the procedure. Your doctor may also advise you not to eat or drink anything for several hours prior to the procedure. 

After a Lumbar Sympathetic Block, you may experience a feeling of soreness and swelling at the injection site. This is normal and should subside within a few hours. It is also recommended that you avoid any rigorous activity for 24 hours