Cancer-related pain can be challenging to manage, and many patients turn to nerve-block treatments for relief. Nerve blocks are a form of regional anesthesia that blocks nerve signals to specific body parts to stop pain. Here’s what you need to know about nerve block cancer pain treatments, including how they work and the types available.
If you are suffering from cancer-related pain, the Jersey City cancer pain treatment specialists of Jersey Premier Pain offer a range of cancer pain management options. Contact us today at 201-386-8800 to learn more.
About Cancer Pain
Cancer pain can range from mild to severe and can be caused by the tumor itself, pressure on or damage to nerves, or side effects of treatment. It can be a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing sensation. Cancer pain is difficult to manage and can interfere with day-to-day activities.
Common symptoms include burning, aching, sharp shooting pains, and general soreness. Cancer pain can also cause insomnia, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and decreased appetite. Treating cancer pain effectively can help a person stay active, sleep better, and maintain their quality of life. Pain medications may sometimes not be enough to relieve cancer-related pain.
What Is a Nerve Block?
A nerve block is a procedure used to help control pain caused by certain types of cancer or other chronic conditions. It blocks the signals from a particular nerve or group of nerves responsible for transmitting pain to the brain, which can help alleviate the pain or reduce its intensity and improve comfort and quality of life. Nerve blocks are usually administered via an injection of local anesthetic into the affected area, either around the nerve or directly onto the nerve itself.
How Does a Nerve Block Work?
A nerve block is an injection that can reduce pain in a specific body part. It involves injecting an anesthetic into a specific nerve, or group of nerves, to temporarily block signals of pain from being sent to the brain. This stops the sensation of pain so you can enjoy relief from pain. Nerve blocks can be used as both a diagnostic and therapeutic technique. For therapeutic purposes, medications such as anti-inflammatories and steroids may be injected to provide long-term relief. Nerve blocks can also be used for cancer pain, and this type of procedure is often combined with other treatments for maximum relief.
How a Nerve Block Can Help Cancer Pain
Nerve blocks can provide significant relief for cancer patients suffering from pain. A nerve block may help reduce acute and chronic cancer pain by interrupting pain signals. Nerve blocks also can help to decrease swelling and inflammation that can be associated with cancer-related pain. Sometimes, a nerve block may be used as an ongoing treatment plan for those suffering from persistent or recurring cancer-related pain. This can help reduce the medication needed to manage the pain, leading to fewer side effects and improved quality of life.
Types of Nerve Blocks for Cancer Pain
When treating cancer pain, many different types of nerve blocks can help. Nerve blocks that can be used to treat cancer pain include:
- Celiac plexus block: This type of nerve block targets the celiac plexus, a bundle of nerves in the abdomen near the pancreas. It can help reduce abdominal pain from pancreatic and other abdominal cancers.
- Intercostal nerve block: This nerve block targets the intercostal nerves, which provide sensation to the chest wall. It can reduce pain from tumors in the chest or abdomen or lung or breast cancer.
- Brachial plexus block: The brachial plexus is a group of nerves in the neck and shoulder area. A brachial plexus block can help reduce pain caused by tumors in these areas.
- Trigeminal nerve block: The trigeminal nerve is one of the largest nerves in the head and is responsible for sensations in the face. A trigeminal nerve block can help reduce facial pain caused by tumors or radiation therapy.
- Stellate ganglion block: This type of nerve block targets the stellate ganglion, a bundle of nerves in the neck. It can help reduce pain from tumors in the head and neck and reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy.
- Hypogastric plexus block: The hypogastric plexus is a bundle of nerves in the lower abdomen. A hypogastric plexus block can help reduce abdominal pain from tumors in this area.
Each of these types of nerve blocks can be used to help relieve cancer-related pain. In addition, a combination of nerve blocks may be used to treat pain in multiple areas at once. Talk to your doctor about which type of nerve block may be best for you.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Understanding what to expect in the hours and days after a nerve block procedure is important. Most people feel some relief from their pain after the nerve block, but this is not always immediate. It can take several hours to several days for the effects of the nerve block to become fully evident. After the procedure, you may feel a sense of numbness, tingling, or weakness in the area of the block. This is normal and should subside over time.
The effects of the block may last anywhere from days to weeks. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions after the procedure and watch for any signs of complications. These include worsening pain, swelling, or an increased temperature in the affected area. Let your doctor know right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
Nerve Block Cancer Pain Treatment in Jersey City, NJ
At Jersey Premier Pain, our team of experts is committed to providing superior nerve block treatment for cancer patients in the Jersey City area. Our specialists have extensive experience and training in performing these nerve block procedures and provide an individualized plan of care tailored to each patient’s needs. In addition, we utilize the latest technology and equipment to ensure that our treatments are effective and provide long-term relief.