What is a Diagnostic Block?
Diagnostic blocks involve the precise placement of local anesthetic or numbing medication in or near the presumed painful structure such as the zygapophyseal or facet joints or spinal nerve. The patient’s pain is assessed both before and after the block and inferences can be made regarding the “pain generator” or exact structure causing the pain.
Only when a definitive diagnosis of the pain generator is made can your physician make more appropriate recommendations for treatment of the painful condition and offer a prognosis for improvement.
At NERA Spine, Sports & Pain, we treat patients suffering from painful or disabling neurologic or musculoskeletal conditions on a daily basis. These patients usually have been seen by multiple other medical providers before presenting to our office. Treatments may have included chiropractic, physical therapy, medications, activity or lifestyle modification, and even surgical consultations suggesting no surgical option exists.
X-Ray, CT, or MRI Scans
Imaging studies including x-ray, CT, or MRI scan may have demonstrated abnormal findings such as degenerative or bulging discs and arthritic changes. The problem with the imaging study is that in asymptomatic persons without pain, these degenerative arthritic and disc changes are commonly seen. Therefore, the presence of these imaging abnormalities does not mean they are the cause of the person’s pain and associated disability.
Therefore, the only accepted medical way is to perform a diagnostic block.
As specialized physicians in the treatment of these painful disorders, we are highly skilled in the performance of these diagnostic blocks. If not performed in a precise and accurate manner, the diagnostic information becomes useless and subsequent treatments less likely to be effective.
If you are suffering from an acute or painful neurologic or musculoskeletal condition, make an appointment by calling (610) 954-9400 or schedule a doctor’s visit on-line.