Nerve Block (Cervical Sympathetic)

What is a CSNB? How does it work?

Nerve blocking requires injections of medication that are placed outside of the joint space, near the nerve suspected of causing pain in cervical facets. This medication interrupts the signals going from the source of pain to the brain, and a successful procedure locates the problem facet (joint).

Benefits from CSNB injections

The use of these injections is the only way to singularly identify the nerves causing pain in vertebral facet joints. By successfully blocking pain, your physician can determine which nerves are responsible for discomfort.

When will I see results?

It is normal for patients to need 2 treatments before seeing true and lasting results.

Process

BEFORE- In the weeks prior to the injection you and your doctor will take time to discuss a specific timeline to do pre-procedure. Typically that timeline looks like this:
1. Stop the use of aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs 5 days before
2. Stop using blood thinners 2 days before
3. Stop the use of pain medication at least 8 hours before
4. No food or drink 6 hours before injection

PROCEDURE- In a sterile environment the injection site is cleaned and numbed for patient comfort. Your physician will use large video x-ray equipment to aid in the correct placement. This injection may also include a steroid, antibiotic, or anesthetic to help relieve the problem area’s pain immediately. During the procedure your doctor will be monitoring your reactions and may ask you questions to create a better patient experience.

AFTER- It is recommended that the patient have someone else drive them home after this procedure. Although this in an out-patient procedure, it often makes patients feel more comfortable and allows them to relax post injection.

Risk Factors

There is a risk of complication with any medical procedure. Take time to discuss treatment options and any questions you may have with your physician, before agreeing with a procedure.