My brother had nerve blocks for back pain that seemed to work great. I have back pain from spinal stenosis. Would something like that help me?
People who have back pain coming from the facet (spinal) joint(s)can be helped by a nerve block to the tiny nerves that give the joint sensation. Using an injected anesthetic to the facet joint's nerve is used now as a diagnostic tool to confirm that this area is truly what's causing the patient's pain. Once the nerve can no longer send signals to the spinal cord, then the pain stops. Knowing that the facet joint is a pain generator, the next question is why? Why does the joint start sending out pain signals? It's reasonable to think that arthritic changes around the joint might set up this type of pain response. But are there other reasons like disc degeneration or spinal stenosis? Stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal where the spinal cord is located. But it can also mean a narrowing of the intraforaminal space around the spinal nerve root as the nerve root leaves the spinal cord and travels down the leg. And a recent study has shown that stenosis might be linked with facet joint pain. Which means that blocking the nearby nerve with a local anesthetic could potentially help patients who have back pain from stenosis. This is all preliminary right now as up until now, stenosis was actually an exclusionary factor for nerve blocks and nerve ablation (destruction) with radiofrequency (heat) treatment. To find out what might work best for you, see an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation. There are some less invasive treatments that can help with pain relief that you might want to try first before having a nerve block. Your physician will be able to advise you given all factors of age, spine condition, general health, and any other appropriate patient characteristics. Destroying that nerve with heat using radiofrequency denervation relieves the pain permanently.