The common regional anesthetic procedure is finding more uses in non-surgical settings
Peripheral nerve blocks have proven to be a welcome relief for patients and physicians alike, with the ability to lessen the need for opioids as well as provide minimal complications during recovery. Now, anesthesia providers and pain management practitioners are starting to use nerve blocks in other non-surgical settings, including use in diagnosing and treating chronic conditions.
Here are three alternative uses for peripheral nerve blocks making the rounds in the medical community:
- Shingles - This disease causes a painful rash and can leave what’s called post-herpetic neuralgia, or a burning or aching sensation on the affected skin and nerves. Since the shingles rash and neuralgia often occur in the same area by the same particular neural pathway, patients have begun seeking relief through nerve blocks. Pain management practitioners suggest blocking the nerves early for the best results, saying it might even help to ease the outbreak’s symptoms.
- Phantom limb pain - Researchers have found that nerve blocks could be used to quiet phantom limb pain experienced by some patients. A team of Israeli and Albanian researchers concluded that intraforaminal epidural blocks “rapidly and reversibly extinguished” phantom pain, although more evidence may be needed to determine the overall rate of success.
- Headaches - Many patients suffering from a traumatic brain injury are probably familiar with headaches, and run the risk of developing them into a more serious chronic condition. But researchers in Canada have found that peripheral nerve blocks administered into the scalp are able to provide an immediate therapeutic effect not only in adult patients, but in pediatric patients as well. The results were published in the May 2014 issue of Headache.
For more information on alternative uses for peripheral nerve blocks, click here: Alternative Uses for Peripheral Nerve Blocks.
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