Nerve Block Injections to Treat My Chronic Pain
Last updated: February 2023
I recently started seeing a pain specialist for my chronic migraine and chronic back pain. While I have tried almost everything for my migraine pain, there is still a lot left for me to try for my chronic back pain.
Did I try bilateral lumbar medial branch nerve blocks?
My pain specialist suggested that some of my pain could come from my lower back's facet joints. A diagnostic procedure that is performed to see if these facet joints are causing some of the pain is bilateral lumbar medial branch nerve block injections. These nerve block injections are done while using an x-ray machine to place the nerve blocks into the medial branch nerves.
Did I follow up with a nerve ablation?
The bilateral lumbar medial branch block injections and the occipital nerve block injections are done before a nerve ablation is performed. This is so the patient and the doctor can see if the patient’s lower back pain is reduced after the injections. If the pain is not reduced due to the injections, then it is likely that the nerve ablation will not help either.
While I did the occipital nerve block injections several times, I never went through with the occipital nerve ablation. There simply was not a significant amount of pain relief from the occipital nerve block injections to justify trying the occipital nerve ablation procedure.
Was I given sedation?
Since I tried occipital nerve block injections multiple times for my migraines, I easily understood what the doctor was talking about when he started explaining the bilateral lumbar medial branch nerve block injections. I was more surprised that they would give ‘light’ sedation to help with anxiety and pain during the procedure. When I had the occipital nerve blocks done for my migraines, I was not given any type of sedation for anxiety or numbing for pain reduction during the process.
This has caused me to wonder just how much more painful these bilateral lumbar medial branch block injections are going to be than the occipital nerve block injections. It makes me cringe a little because the administration of the occipital nerve block injections was extremely painful to me.
Did I have to have a driver?
While it was suggested that I have a driver for the occipital nerve block injections, it is required that I have a driver for the bilateral lumbar medial branch block injections. I had a driver to the appointments for the occipital nerve block injections because the pain from having the injections done was very intense. These injections would also cause me to have a migraine. Additionally, the doctor’s office was some 35 miles away from my home, one way.
The pain clinic is much closer to my house, but I will still need to have a driver. The paperwork for the lumbar nerve block injections states that a driver is required for the procedure because they will administer a sedative.
Will it impact my migraine pain?
I am hopeful that these bilateral lumbar medial branch nerve block injections will be more effective in decreasing my pain than the occipital nerve block injections were when I tried them. it would be nice to have a reduction in some of my chronic pain, even if it is my chronic back pain and not my migraine pain. My doctor believes this reduction of pain will have some kind of effect on my migraine pain as well.
Do you have a migraine toolbox for when an attack hits?
Join the conversation