Sympathetic blocks are performed to evaluate symptoms in the arms or legs.
Lumbar Sympathetic Block
The sympathetic nerve tissue located on either side of the spine in the back is injected with a local anesthetic to temporarily “block” or interrupt the nerve signals to see if this relieves pain. It is done to evaluate symptoms in the legs and/or feet.
The doctor will evaluate symptoms in arms or legs before and after the injection. Some of the things that will be evaluated include pain, movement, swelling, color, temperature, hair growth, sweating changes and sensitivity to touch. These blocks are primarily a diagnostic test but may provide relief even after the local anesthetic wears off. It may be necessary to repeat the injection several times to provide sustained (long-lasting) relief.