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In some cases of spondylitis, pain cannot be effectively managed with medication. Depending on the condition and the type of pain, some people may be candidates for nerve block injections.

What does it involve?
Nerve block injections involve a doctor injecting medication into the neck or back to numb or destroy nerves that are sending pain signals. There are many different types of nerve block injections depending on the location and cause of the pain. The medication injected may be an anesthetic, corticosteroids, or chemicals such as alcohol or phenol, which will destroy the nerves.

Other types of nerve block injections that treat chronic pain include lumbar sympathetic block, Botulinum toxin (Botox) injection, celiac plexus block, and stellate ganglion block.

Nerve block injection is usually an outpatient procedure.

Before receiving a nerve block injection, you may receive sedating medication by intravenous (IV) infusion. The area designated for injection will be numbed with local anesthetic. Then the doctor will inject medication.

You can leave the office after receiving most nerve block injections. You should rest that day, and you can resume normal activity the following day. Depending on the type of nerve block injection you received, it may take two or three days to begin feeling the pain relief effects.

A successful nerve block injection may provide days, weeks, months, or years of pain relief.

A nerve block injection may not be successful at reducing pain.

You may require repeated nerve block injections before you experience pain relief.

Pain relief from a nerve block injection is temporary.

Injecting medications can cause bleeding, infections, or allergic reactions.

Risks associated with epidural steroid injection and facet joint injection include headaches or paralysis. Corticosteroids can cause side effects including weight gain, mood changes, hot flashes, insomnia, swelling, and raised blood sugar.

Celiac plexus block is associated with risks including diarrhea, low blood pressure, or, rarely, collapsed lung.

Stellate ganglion block may cause temporary side effects including hoarse voice, drooping eyelids, bloodshot eyes, stuffy nose, “lump” sensation in the throat, warmth or tingling in the arm or hand, and difficulty swallowing.

In rare cases, Botulinum toxin could spread from the injection site and cause a potentially fatal disease called botulism.

For more details about this treatment, visit:

Neurological Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis – LiveStrong

Epidural steroid injection – Mayfield Brain & Spine

Facet injection & Facet rhizotomy – Mayfield Brain & Spine

Celiac Plexus Block – Cleveland Clinic

Botulinum Toxin in Pain Management – Medscape

Sympathetic Nerve Blocks for Pain – Johns Hopkins Medicine

Stellate Ganglion Block – Cleveland Clinic

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