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My experience with lumber sympathetic nerve block

One of the symptoms of my fibromyalgia has been severe debilitating abdominal pain . The pain management doctor I was seeing suggested trying a sympathetic lumbar nerve block. In a block is a fairly common procedure in pain management and there are tons of patient experiences out there. So instead of going into details, I will summarise the differences in experience that I had from what others had described.

For starters, I was under the impression that every doctor injects at the same nerve root level in the procedure. However, my pain management doctor said that depending on my symptoms, he will consider injecting different nerve roots. This means that you may receive one or more injections.


Most of the other patients seem to have not experienced pain. However, even after the anaesthetic, I experienced painful heavy sensation after each injection. After the procedure, I was not able to turn on the side where the injections at been made. Fortunately, the pain reduced rapidly. I used an ice pack for about 20 minutes every hour and within 3 hours I was able to sleep properly on my injected side.

Also, after the injections I was pretty groggy and it was difficult to sit in the wheelchair to take  me back into the hospital room. So you may want to let the nursing staff know that you may need in the bed trolley/stretcher.

The block unfortunately did not make much difference. It is a kind of a hit and miss procedure. But it is worth a try because if you're lucky, you may never get the pain again. The most common outcome that I have seen is that the pain reduces for several weeks/months and then people have to go back again. The intensity of the pain that comes back after every injection continues to reduce.

If you have gone through a similar procedure, please share your experience in the comments below. It is always good to be familiar with the procedure and its effects so that one can get through it with minimal pain and discomfort.

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