Sympathetic blocks are used to treat sympathetically mediated pain syndromes such as CRPS Type I and Type II. Sympathetic nerves exist throughout the entire body and pain syndromes associated with these tend to be regional involving an entire extremity or quadrant of the body. Sympathetic blocks are also used for the treatment of cancer pain, visceral pain, interstitial cystitis and other pelvic pain syndromes.
- Stellate ganglion block – an injection used for pain involving the head and neck.
- Sphenopalatine nerve block – used for treatment of headaches and other facial pain syndromes.
- Splanchnic nerve block typically used for pancreatic cancer and other abdominal malignancies.
- Celiac plexus block – the most common injection for pancreatic cancer related pain. Neurolytic or destructive injections are often performed to the celiac plexus to block the innervation or sensation coming from the pancreas to alleviate pain on a long term basis. These injections are typically highly effective for Pancreatic Cancer, a condition associated with very severe abdominal pain.
- Lumbar sympathetic block – lumbar sympathetic blocks are typically used for Complex Regional Pain Syndromes involving the lower extremity.
- Superior hypogastric plexus block refers to a group of nerves which provide sensation in the pelvic region. Patients with bladder and pelvic pain syndromes such as interstitial cystitis may benefit from superior hypogastric plexus blocks.
- Ganglion of impar block – represents the lowest aspect of the sympathetic chain. Impar blocks are typically used to treat rectal pain from cancer, surgery, or radiation damage.