Cancer may be extremely painful. From the tumor pressing on and damaging nerves through the surgery and chemotherapy that one must undergo. To keep your pain under control, it’s critical to have individualized cancer pain management. No matter how painful cancer can be, nerve blocks can help with the pain. Read on.
How Do Nerve Blocks Work?
You might be wondering what a nerve block is. It is a purposeful interruption of impulses passing down a nerve, mainly to reduce pain. It primarily affects the brain and nerves, so if the brain does not receive the message, you will not experience pain.
At, Southeast Pain & Spine Care, we focus on the nerve on the receiving end. Either the one that has been affected by a tumor or the one carrying pain from a certain part of your body. We inject an anesthetic into the nerve or the epidural area of the spinal cord.
To minimize nerve irritation, we sometimes mix the anesthetic with a steroid. If we successfully block your nerve, we recommend that you undergo radiofrequency ablation. We use radio waves to form a wound around the pain-causing nerve in this process. Therefore, the wound blocks any pain signals until the nerve recovers, taking nine months or more.
Which Are the Nerve Blocks for Cancer Pain?
A nerve block can be used on almost any nerve or cluster of nerves in your body or spinal cord. Here are some examples of nerves we can manage to target and the types of cancer pain they can help with:
The intercostal nerve blocks
Intercostal nerve blockade reduces pain in the upper abdomen, chest wall, and back. This nerve block is frequently used to help patients undergoing treatment for breast or lung cancer.
The Celiac plexus blocks
It is used to relieve pain in the belly. It can benefit patients with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, liver, and bile ducts. This type of block also makes it difficult to feel pain in your abdominal structures and your intestines.
Block of the brachial plexus
When cancer spreads to the brachial plexus nerves in the shoulder, it leads to intense upper arm pain resistant to medical treatment. The pain is relieved by administering a nerve block to this area.
The trigeminal nerve blocks
This nerve block can relieve pain generated by head and neck cancers.
Stellate ganglion block
It reduces pain caused by nerve damage in your neck, head, chest, and arm. Additionally, it reduces pain caused by tumors.
Block of the hypogastric plexus
A superior hypogastric plexus block relieves pain from uterine, cervical, or prostate cancer and pelvic pain from cancer treatments.
Cancer itself isn’t easy to handle; now, imagine having to deal with the pain as well? This is why you need Southeast Pain & Spine Care to help you with pain management through medications and nerve blocks. Additionally, we have world-class physicians who are double board-certified and have the knowledge and skills to provide some of the most sophisticated pain treatment procedures. If you’re struggling with pain, contact us today!