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Diagnostic Nerve Block

What Is a Diagnostic Block?

At Hudson Valley Spine and Pain, we utilize the diagnostic block — also called a diagnostic nerve block — to determine the underlying cause of your pain. With this procedure, a local anesthetic is injected in small amounts into targeted nerves or nerve groups. Then we will assess you to determine any changes in your pain symptoms.

If we numb a certain group of nerves and you notice improvements in pain, the cause of your pain can be confidently confirmed. However, if you note limited change or no change in your pain, we can conclude the pain is originating from a different set of nerves or from a different area.

Once we determine the cause of your pain, we will work closely with you to prescribe treatments that will deliver you relief and improve your quality of life. Continue reading to learn more about the diagnostic block.

How Is the Diagnostic Block Performed?

The method used to perform your diagnostic block will depend on the targeted nerve. For nerves located outside of your spine, the doctor may simply feel the area to properly locate the nerve. However, other nerves — such as those around or in the spine — may require additional diagnostic equipment to locate the nerve.

Since you may be required to provide responses to questions and reliable information about changes in your pain, patients are typically not sedated for the diagnostic block procedure. In either case, diagnostic blocks are not painful and are usually tolerated well by adults of all ages.

Do I Need the Diagnostic Nerve Block Procedure?

One of the most critical aspects of treating your chronic pain is to identify the cause or source of the pain. Although this may seem relatively straightforward, most back and neck pain carries a significant overlap or similarity in the pain symptoms created by more than one pain generators. For instance, if you suffer from lower back pain, it can be caused by a minimum of six different sources, including:

  • Paraspinal muscles
  • Interspinous ligaments
  • Sacroiliac joint
  • Facet joint
  • Vertebral body
  • Intervertebral disc

The treatment for each of these conditions can be very different. The diagnostic block is critical to confirming the actual nerve carrying the pain and the location of the pain generator. Once we identify the cause of the pain, we can utilize a range of treatments to help you find relief.

Contact Hudson Valley Spine and Pain for the Diagnostic Nerve Block Procedure

One of the most vital aspects of treating chronic pain is to properly identify the pain generator or underlying cause of the pain. Once we identify the source of your pain, we’ll work closely with you to create a unique treatment plan to help reduce your pain, enhance your quality of life, and improve your holistic health.

Contact Hudson Valley Spine and Pain to learn more about the diagnostic block treatment.