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Sympathetic Blocks

The autonomic nervous system includes parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves. Certain chronic pain syndromes are treated with blockade of the sympathetic nerves. These conditions include Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Causalgia, Shingles, and other sympathetically-maintained chronic pain syndromes. Examples include stellate ganglion blocks for head and neck pain, lumbar sympathetic blocks for leg and foot pain, and ganglion impar blocks for pelvic pain.

What to expect:

  • The procedure will be performed in an operation room with conscious sedation.

  • The timing and degree of pain relief varies.
  • Your symptoms may feel worse in the first few days before it gets better.
  • After the procedure, patients will take the rest of the day off.
  • You will be able to resume normal daily activities the next day.
  • You will be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for the six hours leading up to your procedure.
  • A driver will need to take you home after the procedure.