One the treatments for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS is a Sympathetic Nerve Block. It is an injection of local anesthesia into or around the sympathetic nerves. The nerves run down along either side of the spine. In my case, my CRPS is in my left foot and leg, so I get left Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve Blocks, that is plural because I have had several. The location of your CRPS will determine where you will receive your nerve block.
The idea of a nerve block is to hopefully offer some relief from pain, but for a very short while. It was explained to me by my doctor that it is used to reset the nervous system, and it could take 1 or several or never actually do the resetting it is supposed to. I had 5 or 6, I lost count, and I never really felt a huge difference, but they did note a temperature change when in recovery.
The day of your procedure they will probably have you fast for 6-8hrs prior and have you wear comfortable clothes. Upon your arrival where you are having the procedure done, they will prep you, usually lying down. The gown with the opening in the back will be your outfit for the next hour or so. They will wheel into the room for the procedure and have you hop up a table face down. They will hook you up to oxygen and continuously check your vitals. Your doctor may decide at the time to calm your nerves and make sure you are comfortable.
They will pull your tightie whities down and put a really cold liquid all over your body, I assume it is antiseptic, but beware it’s cold. I relax as much as possible, if it is your first time, you will be nervous. I am here to tell you there is NOTHING to worry about. Now, some doctors say you won’t feel anything but a little pressure. I am here to tell you honestly, you feel more than a little pressure. I only had a couple times where the pain made me jump, but it lasted for a second, then poof the pain was gone. He must have got a little too close to the nerve. The procedure lasts maybe 10 or so minutes and you are done. Really, it is an easy, quick procedure. I was so nervous before my first one, but when it was over, I said to my doctor, “That’s it, we’re done, that was nothing??”
After the procedure, they will keep an eye on you, take temperature readings of the affected limb and send you home with your ride. Take it easy for the rest of the day, eat some ice cream, lol. Tell everyone you had major surgery and work the sympathy angle.