A nerve block procedure involves an injection of medication in or around a nerve. Nerve blocks numb the nerves that are touched by the drugs. This relieves pain by interrupting the pain signal sent by the nerves to the brain.
Therapeutic nerve blocks are used as treatment for pain. Along with numbing medication, steroid medication is also injected which can often provide long-term pain relief. Nerve blocks for chronic pain may work for 6 to 12 months. They may need to be repeated for maximum effect.
Diagnostic nerve blocks help determine sources of pain or further courses of action needed to achieve pain relief. The amount of immediate pain relief experienced helps to confirm or deny the joint as a source of pain.