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Back Pain Health Center

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Injections for Back Pain Relief

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Nerve Block Injections for Back Pain

In a nerve block, a doctor injects the area around the nerve with a numbing medicine, or anesthetic. Lidocaine is the most common anesthetic used. After a nerve block injection, a person will usually rapidly experience numbness with near-complete pain relief. The numbness wears off, though, after several hours.

Some doctors use nerve block injections to try to diagnose what's causing the back pain. If your doctor does this, you'll be asked which injection causes the back pain to go away. That nerve may then be chosen for an epidural injection with both steroid and anesthetic medicine. Or the doctor may decide to try another treatment.

Nerve blocks are also performed as anesthesia during surgery or other medical procedures.

Risks of Injections for Back Pain

Mild soreness or pain at the site after an injection for back pain is common. Headache, nausea, and vomiting can also occur. In rare cases, injections can cause significant bleeding or infection. You should discuss these and any other possible risks with the doctor before having an injection.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Lisa B. Bernstein, MD on August 13, 2015
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