A Lumbar Sympathetic Block procedure is an injection that numbs nerves in your lower back. It helps doctors find and treat sources of pain. Usually, multiple injections are needed to treat a problem.
About the Sympathetic Nerves
The sympathetic nerves travel along both sides of your spine. They regulate many body functions that you don’t consciously control, including blood circulation, digestion and sweat production.
To prepare for a lumbar sympathetic block, you take relaxation medicine and lie on your stomach or side. Your skin and tissues are numbed at the injection site.
Inserting the Needle
The physician guides a needle to the sympathetic nerves. The physician uses a video x-ray device called a fluoroscope to show the needle’s position. Contrast dye may be injected to confirm correct needle placement.
Injecting the Medicine
Next, the physician injects medicine that bathes the nerves, numbing them and reducing inflammation. If you report symptom relief, the physician knows that these serves were the source of pain.
End of Procedure
When the procedure is complete, you will be monitored for a brief time before you are allowed to go home. Don’t be alarmed if you feel leg numbness or weakness for a few hours after your lumbar sympathetic block procedure. This is common. You may need to return for more injections as part of your treatment plan.