The Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve Block is a procedure used to block or decrease pain in the lower extremities caused by injury or disease of the sympathetic nervous system. The lumbar sympathetic nerves are located on either side of the lumbar spine (lower back).
After an injury or illness, the sympathetic nervous system may not function properly, causing pain. Some of the more common conditions include Complex Regional Pain Syndrome also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Sympathetic Maintained Pain and Herpes Zoster (shingles) involving the lower part of the body.
If the block relieves your pain, the doctor will then perform a series of blocks at a another time, in an attempt to break the pain cycle and provide long lasting pain relief. The number of blocks you will need depends on how long the pain relief lasted between injections. Usually you will get more and longer pain relief after each injection. If the series of blocks do not relieve your pain, a radiofrequency lesion may be done, or consideration of stimulator implant may be necessary.