Sympathetic Blocks Specialist

Pain Care Boise

Pain Medicine located in Boise, ID

Sympathetic blocks effectively ease chronic pain throughout your body by blocking the pain messages traveling through nerves. At Pain Care Boise in downtown Boise, Idaho, William Binegar, MD, and Christopher Vaughan, MD, specialize in several kinds of sympathetic blocks. These blocks target some of the most severe pain, including cancer pain and the progressive pain of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. To learn if you can get the relief you seek with a sympathetic block, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Use the online booking feature or call the office today.

Sympathetic Blocks

What is a sympathetic block?

A sympathetic block is a treatment to stop chronic pain. When you get a sympathetic block, your provider at Pain Care Boise injects an anesthetic into the sympathetic nerves that are the source of your pain. The medication blocks nerve signals, which in turn eases your pain.

Sympathetic nerve blocks target a ganglion, a cluster of nerves. Ganglia are found along your spine as nerves come together when they enter and exit the spinal cord. You’ll receive one of several sympathetic blocks that are named after the targeted ganglion.

What is a lumbar sympathetic block?

A lumbar sympathetic nerve block relieves chronic pain by stopping signals from traveling through the ganglia in your lower back.

The Pain Care Boise team often uses a lumbar block to treat reflex sympathetic dystrophy, also called complex regional pain syndrome. CRPS affects your legs. A lumbar (lower back) block can also ease the pain associated with conditions like vascular insufficiency and shingles.

Your provider injects one sympathetic block to see if it successfully relieves your pain. If it does, you can get a series of injections that reset the nerves and give you longer-lasting pain relief.

What is a stellate ganglion block?

The stellate ganglion is in your lower neck. This ganglion is made up of a collection of sympathetic nerves that carry nerve signals to your face and arm.

The team at Pain Care Boise recommends a stellate ganglion block to relieve the pain caused by reflex sympathetic dystrophy that affects your arms. This treatment can also help with other nerve-related pain in your head, neck, and arms, including migraines that don’t respond to conservative treatment.

What is a celiac plexus block?

The celiac plexus is a series of ganglia at the top of your lumbar spine. The Pain Care Boise team often injects a celiac plexus block to treat pancreatic cancer and upper abdominal pain. This group of ganglia serves many parts of your body, including the:

  • Lower esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Small intestines
  • Most of the large intestine
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Adrenal glands
  • Kidneys

Chronic or severe pain originating in any of these organs can be improved with a celiac plexus block.

The Pain Care Boise team does a diagnostic block using an anesthetic. If that injection effectively reduces your pain, they recommend a neurolytic block using alcohol. An alcohol injection damages the nerves and provides long-lasting pain relief.

What is a superior hypogastric block?

The superior hypogastric plexus is a complex of nerves in your lower spine. This group of nerves serves your:

  • Lower sigmoid colon
  • Bladder
  • Ureters
  • Testes
  • Ovaries

Blocking the nerve signals in the superior hypogastric plexus can reduce pain that begins in any of these organs. Many patients who receive this treatment seek relief from the severe pain caused by cancer.

Like a celiac plexus block, your provider gives you a diagnostic block. If that injection is successful, you can receive a neurolytic block.

If you struggle with chronic pain, call Pain Care Boise today or book an appointment online to learn if a sympathetic block can help you.