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Redefine Healthcare is excited to announce the availability of new intercostal nerve block treatments at all four of their locations in New Jersey. Redefine Healthcare offers several treatment options for spinal and joint pain, and the addition of this new therapy further expands access to innovative methods for pain relief.

“Intercostal” refers to the spaces found in between the ribs and the nerves and muscle tissue found there. According to the Redefine Healthcare team, nerve-blocking treatments in these areas can address persistent pain that does not respond to other treatments.

Who Can Benefit?

Any individual experiencing persistent intercostal pain can potentially experience relief thanks to nerve-blocking therapies. Common causes of this type of pain include post-operative issues stemming from large surgical incisions, shingles-related conditions (neuralgia), fractured ribs, or complications from injuries to the chest.

How Do Intercostal Nerve Blocks Work?

As Redefine Healthcare explains, a consultation with a physician is the first step to properly evaluating a patient’s suitability for intercostal nerve blocks. This critical conversation covers topics such as the patient’s medical history, the current extent, and severity of their pain, and other therapies they have tried. Because intercostal nerve blocks are generally part of a procedure with a low risk of complications or side effects any more severe than bruising, many patients consider it a  flexible and supportive therapy choice.

Injecting a steroid and an anesthetic into the afflicted intercostal space is the primary goal of a nerve block treatment. As part of an outpatient procedure, the injections themselves take only a few minutes, while preparation may take approximately one to two hours. Patients first receive IV medication to relax and prepare them for the procedure and are then placed on their side opposite to the location of the pain.

The doctor will insert a very thin needle beneath the rib to place a local anesthetic into the intercostal space. This initial injection is followed by a second needle guided carefully into the space with precision technology which deposits the long-acting steroid. After a brief recovery period, the patient can return home the same day.

Following treatment, the Redefine Healthcare team noted, patients should avoid strenuous activity and excessive upper body motion for at least one day. Some soreness and lingering discomfort are normal within the first day as the local anesthetic subsides. General pain relief often becomes most noticeable within three days of the injection as the steroid takes effect in the surrounding tissues. While the overall length of relief varies from person to person, many patients report several pain- free months before visiting their practitioner for another injection.

Due to their long action, short procedural time, and low risk of side effects, intercostal nerve blocks offer a powerful alternative treatment choice to other therapies, including opioid medications. These same attributes make it simpler for many patients to rely on this option as part of a long-term strategy. Patients interested in long-term intercostal nerve blocking therapies should consult a physician.

To further explore the benefits of intercostal nerve blocks or to book a consultation appointment, contact Redefine Healthcare.

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