Home Care after Cervical/Thoracic/Lumbar/Sacral Nerve Block
The doctor has done an injection in your neck; upper back; or lower back to decrease pain and inflammation. This may help diagnose the source of your pain.
You may feel sore at the injection site for the next 2-4 days. You may apply ice to the site for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to decrease pain and discomfort, if needed, for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, you may use heat if needed.
Your pain may subside right away, or it may take a number of days. This is because two medicines were used in the injection. The first, a local anesthetic, will only work for a few hours. The second, a steroid, may not start working for 2-5 days. Some patients have noticed no changes in their pain for up to 2 weeks.
There may be a time after the local anesthetic wears off that you feel like you have more pain. This is called a pain flare. If this happens
- Limit your activities for the first 24 hours to those that you can do without pain.
- Keep on taking your pain medicine as prescribed.
Sometimes, patients experience facial and neck flushing, anxiety, nervousness, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping with the use of steroids. These symptoms most often occur within the first 24-48 hours and do not require any treatment. They should go away on their own within 1 week.
If you have diabetes, steroids will cause your blood sugar to increase. Make sure your primary doctor is aware of this and that you have orders to treat your blood sugar to keep it within your normal range.
You may have some weakness for the next 3-5 hours due to the anesthetic used. Take it easy. No baths or soaking the injection site for 24 hours after the procedure. Taking a shower is okay.
You may resume taking your routine medicines after the procedure including pain medicines as prescribed.
If you have any questions or need to make a follow-up appointment to discuss your results, please contact your referring physician within 2-4 weeks after the injection. Your doctor will have the report within 7-10 days..
You will be given a pain log to complete for the next 14 days. Complete this form and make a copy for your own records. Then, mail it back to us in the pre-paid envelope we gave you. We will need this information to decide the next step in your treatment plan.
Signs of infection
- Fever greater than 100.4° F by mouth for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart
- Increased redness, swelling around the site
- Any drainage from the site
If you have any new symptoms or signs of infection, please call
Dr Sehgal – (608) 263-9550
Dr Leonard – (608) 265-3207
Dr Simhan – (608) 263-9550
Dr Holz – (608) 265-3207
After hours, nights and weekends, call (608)-262-0486 or if you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942 - ask for the rehabilitation doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #6918.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 11/14/2013
Copyright © 11/14/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5657
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