The sympathetic nerve spreads from the front exterior of the spinal column and not in the spinal canal with the nerves that allow sensation and strength to your legs. The sympathetic nerves are a component of the self-governing nervous system that controls functions such as blood flow and temperature adjustment on the arms and legs, sweating, heart rate, digestion and blood pressure
The self governing nervous system is responsible for regulating bodily function that is involuntary. However, the sympathetic nerve has no connection with the central nervous system. When regulation of the sympathetic nervous system is disturbed pain conditions occur, including; complex regional pain syndrome
How the sympathetic nerve blocks are done
A sympathetic nerve block counts in injecting numbing medicine around the sympathetic nerve in the low back or neck. With the injections the sympathetic nervous system in the corresponding area is for the time being is retarded for reducing and eliminating pain. If the pain is significantly relieved after the sympathetic nerve block, then the physician will move towards the diagnosis of the treated pain, the anesthesia injected may last longer than normally expected. The purpose of sympathetic nerve block is to bring the sympathetic nerve tone to its normal state of regulation. If the first block is successful, then further blocks may be administered if the pain continues to significantly reduce
What will happen to me during the procedure?
The procedure will be started with an IV and relaxation medication is given to ensure your comfort at The Pain Management Institute. You will be asked to lie on an X-ray table and the skin where the injections will be administered is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Dr. Zaki Anwar, Medical Director at the Pain Management Institute will then numb the skin, which stings for a few seconds and guides the needle to to the sympathetic nerves to ensure that the medicine reaches the aimed location
What should I do and expect after the procedure?
A few minutes after the procedure, Dr Zaki will ask to mobilize your treated area to provoke usual pain. You may not feel improvements for the first few hours after the procedure. You might feel increased heat in the affected areas for a day after the sympathetic nerve blocks. If the injections are given in the neck you might notice slight drooping of the eyelids and redness in the eyes for a couple of hours. All these symptoms are normal and resolve within a day. Discuss any remaining pain and notice the pain relief every day so that Dr Zaki Anwar, MD get knowledge about your results and devise future tests, treatment plan if needed