The sympathetic nervous system is the network of nerves starting in the spinal cord that control internal organs and bodily functions over which we have no control, such as sweating, digestion and blood flow.
In certain conditions, these nerves can carry pain signals so we attempt to alleviate the pain with an anesthetic. A nerve block means that we will inject a numbing agent near the nerve that we believe is causing the pain and discomfort, hence “blocking” the nerves in a particular region.
These nerve blocks can be used to diagnose or treat pain involving the nerves of the sympathetic system. The nerves of the sympathetic system converge outside the spine in groups called ganglions.
The location of your pain will determine where we will administer the nerve block:
Stellate Ganglion Block – in the neck (cervical) area, used to diagnose the cause of pain in the face, head, arms, and chest.
Lumbar Sympathetic Block –lower spine – To target sympathetically controlled pain in the legs.