Sympathetic Block | Midwest Spine & Brain Institute Stillwater, MN
Spine Care
Sympathetic Block

Sympathetic Block

Sympathetic blocks are performed to evaluate symptoms in the arms or legs. The two most common sympathetic blocks are Stellate Ganglion Block and Lumbar Sympathetic Block.

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Stellate Ganglion Block

The sympathetic nerve tissue located in the neck, on either side of the voice box (larynx), is injected with a local anesthetic to temporarily "block" or interrupt the nerve signals to see if this relieves pain. It is done to evaluate symptoms in the arms and/or hands.

Lumbar Sympathetic Block

The sympathetic nerve tissue located on either side of the spine in the back is injected with a local anesthetic to temporarily "block" or interrupt the nerve signals to see if this relieves pain. It is done to evaluate symptoms in the legs and/or feet.

The doctor will evaluate symptoms in arms or legs before and after the injection. Some of the things that will be evaluated include pain, movement, swelling, color, temperature, hair growth, sweating changes and sensitivity to touch. These blocks are primarily a diagnostic test but may provide relief even after the local anesthetic wears off. It may be necessary to repeat the injection several times to provide sustained (long-lasting) relief.

Risks of Interventional Pain Services