If I Get a Nerve Block, How Long Does It Last?

Doctor talking to a patient‚Äč

Your spine contains several nerve roots and strands that transport signals to and from your brain and the rest of your body. Often, long-lasting pain in your back, neck, arms, legs, and head is the result of pressure and inflammation affecting these nerves. This may be the result of chronic conditions like herniated discs, arthritis, spinal stenosis, and others.

There are different treatments for addressing these conditions. Some people are able to find relief from rest and physical rehabilitation. Others may need further treatment like surgery. However, if physical rehabilitation isn’t working for you, and if your doctor doesn’t think you’re ready for surgery, they may recommend a nerve block.

How do nerve blocks work?

There are two different categories of nerve blocks that may be used depending on the cause and severity of the pain:

  • Nonsurgical nerve blocks — These are injections of medications like corticosteroids and anesthetic that are administered to an area surrounding the nerves in your spine. This helps prevents the nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain and can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Surgical nerve blocks — These involve some sort of destruction of the nerve roots to prevent them from transmitting pain signals. This is often done with the use of an X-ray guided needle that delivers a small electrical current to singe the nerve root.

How long does a nerve block last?

The length of the effects of a nerve block depends on which type of nerve block is administered. Some non-surgical nerve blocks aim to reduce pain for only a few days to help you recover from a flare-up of pain from something like sciatica. Other nonsurgical nerve blocks can last for several months or years.

Surgical nerve blocks aim to have permanent effects. Pain can still return in other forms, but a surgical nerve block should prevent the affected nerve roots themselves from transmitting pain signals indefinitely.

Visit iRISE Spine & Joint Institute for nerve block

Are you tired of long-lasting pain in your spine affecting your daily life? A nerve block may be just what you need to help manage this pain and feel well enough to return to your favorite activities. Contact our team today for more information about nerve blocks or to schedule an initial appointment.