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A sympathetic nerve block is an injection of medicine around nerves in your neck or back. This nerve block is used for problems such as chronic regional pain syndrome and pain from some types of cancer.
Sympathetic nerves spread out from your spine. They control some of the body functions you have no control over, like blood flow and digestion. They also carry pain signals. When this system isn't working right, you can have long-term (chronic) pain.
The nerves come together in groups called ganglions throughout your body. This is where the nerve block is done. Your doctor will decide which group of nerves needs this treatment.
The nerve block contains anesthetic, which usually numbs the nerves. It may also contain a steroid, which may reduce swelling and pain. Steroids take a few days, and they don't always work.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: June 23, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
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