Although everyone experiences some degree of shoulder and neck pain occasionally, there is serious cause for concern when that pain becomes chronic and interferes with your daily life. When prescription medication stops easing the pain and you are exploring other options, you should talk with a pain management specialist about more extensive options, like anesthesiology treatments. Here are three key anesthesiology treatments that can help you manage severe chronic pain in your neck and shoulder area.
A peripheral nerve block just does what you would expect it to according to the name. It blocks the nerves in an area of the body to eliminate or ease pain. These nerve blocks are a complex treatment that can require some time investment with the anesthesiologist. In some cases, it can require a certain degree of trial and error to locate the correct nerve.
The treatment involves sending a current through a needle to the nerve, and that current activates the nerve to interrupt the pain transmission. When the correct nerve is located for certain, it's treated with an anesthetic and the electrical current to help ease the pain.
When you hear epidural, you probably think about women in labor, but epidural injections can also be used in a variety of pain management applications. Depending on where your pain is most heavily concentrated, you can receive epidural injections at the chest, neck or other affected area.
The epidural injection will deliver an anti-inflammatory medication directly to the irritated tissue. In most cases, the procedure is completed within a few minutes, and you'll notice the effects within a couple of days after the treatment.
Root blockades are an ideal option for patients who are suffering pain from an irritated nerve root along the spine. Some of the most common symptoms include pain in the neck that radiates into your arm, shoulder, hand and fingers or pain in your back that's radiating into your leg, foot or toes.
Root blockades involve using fluoroscopy to identify the location of the nerve root along the spine. Once the nerve is located, the needle delivers subtle electrical pulses. The specialist will apply a local anesthetic and then insert a heated needle to treat the problem nerve. The heat will help to dull the root, blocking the pain transmission to your nerves.
As you can see, there are many different treatment options available for chronic pain in the neck and shoulder areas. With the help of an anesthesiologist and a pain management center, you can find the right treatment option for your needs. Visit http://illinoispain.com for more information.