What is a sympathetic nerve block?
The sympathetic nerves are a part of the autonomic nervous system, which control a number of different functions in the body as part of the “fight or flight” response. In some conditions, these nerves can also carry pain signals or maintain painful states. This is called sympathetically-maintained pain, and it is seen in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Post-Herpetic Neuralgia, nerve entrapment syndromes, certain types of facial pain and even peripheral vascular disease.
Where in the body are sympathetic nerve blocks performed?
Sympathetic nerve blocks can be targeted to a number of anatomic areas, including the legs (lumbar sympathetic block), arms and face (stellate ganglion block), as well as the abdominal and pelvic organs (superior and inferior hypogastric plexuses and ganglion of impar).