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Redefine Healthcare is pleased to announce that they will now be offering intercostal nerve block treatments at its several convenient locations throughout the area. The intercostal space is the space between two adjacent ribs. The intercostal nerves run from the thoracic spine through the intercostal spaces to the chest. These nerves can become inflamed or irritated and cause significant pain. Intercostal nerve block treatments involve the injection of specific medications to relieve pain in the chest area caused by various conditions. When a local anesthetic or steroid medication is injected into this area, it can alleviate pain by reducing inflammation and blocking pain signals from being transmitted to the brain. These treatments can also help doctors diagnose the source of the pain and address the underlying cause.

What patients can expect
Patients who receive intercostal nerve block treatments receive medication that helps to relax them. They then lie on the unaffected side in a comfortable position. The doctor cleans the skin near the ribs with an antiseptic before beginning the injection. A thin needle is inserted under the bone to inject an anesthetic. After that, the doctor injects a steroid pain medication using x-ray guidance with a second needle. The whole process typically takes less than half an hour, and patients can return home the same day. They can resume their regular medications and diet immediately, but driving and strenuous activities are restricted for the first 24 hours.

Some patients report immediate pain relief after receiving intercostal nerve block treatment, but this is usually the result of the anesthetic and pain often returns within a few hours as it wears off. The long-term pain relief begins within two or three days as the steroid takes effect. The duration of the pain relief varies, but for some patients, it can last as long as several months. If the injections are effective, patients can receive periodic treatments to achieve complete, ongoing relief.

Who can benefit from intercostal nerve block treatments?
Intercostal nerve block treatments may be helpful for patients with a recent onset of pain symptoms in the chest area, primarily when surgery or shingles cause the pain. Other causes of pain in this area include a chest injury or tumor. The pain may originate in the back and radiate around the chest like a tight band, or it may be described as dull, sharp, spasm-like, tender, gnawing, or aching. It may worsen with sudden movements, exertion, coughing, laughing, or breathing deeply. These types of pain are often treated using other, more conservative methods first. However, pain that does not respond to rest, regular pain medications, or other measures may react well to intercostal nerve block treatments.

The risks of intercostal nerve block treatments are minimal. Side effects are usually limited to bruising and soreness at the site of the injections. Serious complications such as collapsed lung or infection and extremely rare. If you think intercostal nerve block treatment may be right for you, ask your doctor about it. To book an evaluation at Redefine Healthcare, contact us here or call 732-906- 9600.


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