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Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks Specialist

Daniel Loder, MD

Pain Management & Orthobiologic Treatment located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA, & Torrance, CA

If you have a chronic, painful condition like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), sympathetic ganglion blocks could give you a measure of relief unavailable from other treatments. Double board-certified pain specialist Daniel Loder, MD, and his team use advanced imaging technologies to deliver sympathetic ganglion block injections at their offices in Beverly Hills, Torrance, and Manhattan Beach, California. To find out more or schedule a consultation, call the Los Angeles area office nearest you today or use the online form to book your appointment.

Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks

What are sympathetic ganglion blocks?

Sympathetic ganglion blocks are spinal injections that can help ease chronic pain. The injections act on the sympathetic nerves, which are on the surface of your spinal column.

Sympathetic nerves form part of your autonomic nervous system, controlling bodily functions that happen automatically, such as:

  • Blood flow
  • Temperature regulation
  • Sweating
  • Heart rate
  • Digestion
  • Blood pressure

These are functions you don't have to think about, unlike the part of your nervous system that you consciously control when you want to move, talk, eat, and so on.

While these two parts of your nervous system operate independently, there is a connection between them. When something affects the connection, it can lead to chronic pain problems that a sympathetic ganglion block can help alleviate.

How do sympathetic ganglion blocks work?

Sympathetic ganglion blocks temporarily turn off the nerves in the treatment area. The aim is to reset the connection between the sympathetic nerves and your central nervous system.

The injections contain a local anesthetic that numbs the sympathetic nerves. Your provider at the office of Daniel Loder, MD, injects the anesthetic into your lower back or neck, depending on where your pain is coming from.

If you get relief from your pain, it confirms that you have sympathetically mediated pain. That means it's due to a problem with the connection between your autonomic nervous system and your central nervous system.

One of the conditions that’s most likely to cause sympathetically mediated pain is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). CRPS (also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy) typically develops after an arm or leg injury and causes steadily worsening pain that mainly affects the damaged limb.

What happens when I have a sympathetic ganglion block?

When you have a sympathetic ganglion block, you lie on an X-ray table throughout the procedure. You don't need to be unconscious, but sedation is advisable so you feel calm and untroubled.

Your provider injects an anesthetic into the skin on your back. They then position the needle using fluoroscopy – an advanced form of moving X-ray that enables them to see the sympathetic nerve plexus.

When the needle is in position, your provider injects a colored dye to check that the anesthetic is going to affect the right nerves. They can then inject the nerve block medication.

How long do the effects of sympathetic ganglion blocks last?

You should feel almost immediate relief after your procedure, which can last several hours or very often a lot longer. Even after the effects of the anesthetic should have worn off, many patients still feel the benefit of their treatment.

You might need to have a series of sympathetic ganglion blocks. If all goes well, you should find that your pain improves progressively after each injection.

Find out more about sympathetic ganglion blocks and how they could ease your pain by calling Daniel Loder, MD, today, or booking an appointment online.