Diagnostic Spinal Nerve Blocks
A Diagnostic Nerve Block involves numbing a specific nerve or group of nerves that may be involved in carrying a patient’s pain. The physician performing the nerve block is assumed to be an expert in anatomy so that he/she knows the location of various pain-carrying nerves. A local anesthetic is injected in very small amounts onto target nerves, and the patient is then assessed for any change in pain symptoms. If a particular pain-carrying nerve or group of nerves is/are numbed and a patient notes significant improvement in pain symptoms, the location of the pain generator is likely confirmed. If a patient notes no change or limited change in pain symptoms following a diagnostic nerve block, the treating physician may conclude that a patient’s pain is originating from a different area.