Lumbar Sympathetic Block In Phoenix & Gilbert, AZ

About Sympathetic Nerves

The sympathetic nerves are the part of your autonomic nervous system that constrict blood flow and increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration.

Arizona woman stretches outdoors, experiencing no pain after undergoing lumbar sympathetic block treatment.

These nerves can also transmit pain following an injury or trauma to the surrounding nerves, tendons, ligaments, and bones. The sympathetic nerves sometimes become unnecessarily stimulated, which causes the constriction of blood vessels and poor circulation in your limbs.

When the sympathetic nerves surrounding the lumbar spine become unnecessarily stimulated, they can cause mild to severe leg and foot pain.

At The Pain Experts of Arizona, our team of qualified doctors and nurse practitioners can help relieve your pain with nerve treatments like lumbar sympathetic blocks.

What Is a Lumbar Sympathetic Block?

Lumbar sympathetic blocks are minimally invasive outpatient treatment options that relieve chronic leg and foot pain by injecting steroids into the sympathetic nerves located on the front side of the spine. These blocks can function as a diagnostic tool for chronic lumbar pain.

The primary goal of this procedure is to block the sympathetic nerves and reduce pain, swelling, and other discomforts in the lower extremities.

Preparing for the Procedure

Before your procedure, your Arizona lumbar sympathetic block provider may ask you to stop taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), immunosuppressant medication, and blood thinners to reduce your risk of serious complications or infections. 

If you are pregnant or suspect you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about alternative treatment options. Your healthcare professional may also ask you not to eat or drink several hours before the procedure. This procedure cannot be performed if the patient has an active infection or symptoms of a cold, flu, or similar sickness. If you experience these symptoms on the day of the procedure, you will need to reschedule your nerve block.

The Procedure

Your healthcare professional will ask you to lie face down on an X-ray table and administer a low-grade sedative to help you relax. They will then sanitize your back before injecting a local anesthetic into the lumbar sympathetic ganglia located at the back of the spine. 

Using X-ray guidance and contrast dye, your healthcare professional will inject the medicine into the proper location. If the lumbar sympathetic block is for therapeutic purposes, they will inject a corticosteroid. Diagnostic lumbar sympathetic blocks use a numbing medication or local anesthetic.

At The Pain Experts of Arizona, lumbar sympathetic block procedures typically last less than thirty minutes. Once the medical practitioner completes the injection, you will remain in an observation room for about fifteen to thirty minutes to ensure no complications or immediate reactions occur. 

You must be able to walk without feeling weakness in your legs before you can return home. For most patients, this will happen in under an hour.


Once discharged, you will be unable to drive or perform any rigorous activity for the remainder of the day. You will need someone else to drive you home from your procedure. 

You cannot take a bath or soak in water for three days after the injection. Your healthcare professional will recommend relaxing for the rest of the day after your procedure before returning to normal activities.

You may experience an increase in lower back pain at the injection site, but this pain should dissipate within 48-72 hours. If the pain becomes intolerable, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine or apply an ice compress.

The onset of pain relief and its duration vary greatly among patients. Some patients report feeling immediate pain relief, while others feel relief after several days. Lumbar sympathetic blocks used for diagnostic reasons should provide pain relief within the same day, while therapeutic ones may take up to ten days to provide pain relief. 

Your pain relief may last several weeks or several months. If these nerve blocks successfully relieve your back pain, your healthcare professional may suggest adding periodic lumbar sympathetic blocks to your routine treatment regimen.

Why Choose the Pain Experts of Arizona?

When considering a lumbar sympathetic block or other pain treatments, the Pain Experts of Arizona treat each patient with the care and respect of family. We want you to feel comfortable and supported during your visit. 

We offer a comprehensive approach to pain management, using advanced procedures to provide effective treatments. Our team includes board-certified doctors and nurse practitioners with years of experience in their fields. Their high level of expertise and commitment to quality translates to every procedure they perform. 

Our modern treatment strategies and top-tier medical expertise make the Pain Experts of Arizona a top choice for managing and alleviating your lumbar pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Benefits of Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks?

The benefits of lumbar sympathetic blocks include:

  • Significant reduction in pain and discomfort in the lower limbs.
  • Decreased need for oral pain medications, which can have side effects and potential for dependency.
  • Improvement in mobility and quality of life due to reduced pain.
  • Potential diagnostic benefits, as the procedure can help identify the sympathetic nerves as a source of pain.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks?

Lumbar sympathetic blocks are generally safe procedures, but there remains the possibility for compilations, such as:

  • Infection, bleeding, or bruising at the injection site
  • Allergic reaction to steroids or anesthesia
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Sharp blood pressure decrease
  • Anesthetic toxicity
  • Blood in your urine
  • Muscular numbness or weakness

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks?

Lumbar sympathetic blocks are used to treat a variety of conditions, especially those involving neuropathic pain and vascular issues in the lower limbs. These include:

  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Vascular insufficiency
  • Shingles
  • Neuropathy
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Lower limb painful ischemia
  • Cancer pain
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Excessive sweating
  • Spasms in blood vessels

How Soon Can I Drive After a Lumbar Sympathetic Block Procedure?

Patients are generally advised not to drive immediately after a lumbar sympathetic block due to the effects of the local anesthetic and potential mild sedation used during the procedure. 

Typically, it's safe to drive 24 hours after the procedure once the effects of the anesthetic have completely worn off and you feel stable. However, this can vary based on your individual response to the procedure.

It's crucial for patients to arrange transportation home following the procedure and to follow our specific recommendations regarding when it's safe to resume driving.

How Often Will I Need to Have This Procedure Done?

The frequency of lumbar sympathetic block procedures depends on how well they work and the severity of symptoms. If the initial block is effective, we can schedule more injections to prolong the relief, often weeks or months apart. 

You may need a series of blocks over a few months for chronic conditions. We’ll tailor your schedule to fit your needs for optimal pain management. 

Ready to Alleviate Your Pain? Contact the Pain Experts of Arizona Today

If you're struggling with chronic leg and foot pain, a lumbar sympathetic block might be the solution you've been searching for. 

At the Pain Experts of Arizona, we provide a comprehensive approach to help you feel your best. Our modern treatment strategies and commitment to excellence make us a leader in pain management. 

Call us today at 480-550-9393 to schedule a consultation in Gilbert or Mesa, Arizona. Let us help you take the first step towards a pain-free life!


Schedule an Appointment Today!

*All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.

Accessibility Toolbar