Treating pain comes in many forms. For most, it starts with pills and massages. Sometimes it includes heat therapy, cold compresses, and topical creams and ointments. For a few, the pain they feel is so bad that nothing short of a spinal nerve block provides relief. If your doctor suggests spinal injections of nerve-blocking sedatives, you should know what is involved and why your doctor says you will need a sober driver after the procedure.
Choosing the Right Spot on Your Spine
Depending on what part of the body pains you the most, your doctor will choose a section of vertebrae in your back where the injection needle will go. An anesthesiologist is called in for this procedure because it is a very delicate one, and only the anesthesiologist knows what he/she is doing. For example, if your pain is in your right hip and lower back, and it is so excruciating that you can neither lie on that side nor sleep, the doctors will choose a space between two vertebrae a few inches up from the nerves that control pain signals to those areas of the body. This is where the medication will be injected.
The Lumbar Puncture
They call it a lumbar puncture because they have to almost "punch" the spinal tap needle through the space between two bones. This is difficult to do because there is the spongy tissue of the vertebral disc in the way, and the nerves are behind that. Do not worry about feeling it because the anesthesiologist administers a local numbing agent that leaves this area of your back feeling lifeless. The only thing you might feel is a bit of pressure when the puncture needle goes through.
The Catheter Administration
The puncture needle has an opening that allows the anesthesiologist to insert a very tiny catheter tube. The tube goes through the needle and through the opening that was created in your back. Once the catheter is in, the anesthesiologist uses a syringe filled with an anesthetizing medication to deliver it through the catheter and to the nerves in that area. Within a few minutes, you will begin to feel nothing at all from that area of your body all the way down to your toes. The relief from pain will be amazing, but you will not be able to walk or move properly. Hence, you need a driver because you will not be in control of your feet, your legs, or any other part of your body that has been numbed by the drug.Share
2 August 2019
When my mother fell at home and broke her hip, we all thought that we were going to have no choice to put her in a nursing home when she got out of the hospital. My mother had always asked us kids to avoid putting her in any kind of home, but we didn’t know what else we could do. None of us were capable of giving her the kind of rehabilitation and care that she needed. Then her doctor suggested that we find out if her insurance covered in-home care. I didn’t even know that that was an option. I was pleased to discover that in-home care was covered by her plan. Now she gets great care from nurses and nurse assistants that come right to her in her home, where she wants to be. It’s a great option, and I’m so glad we have it.