Mercy Pain Management Specialist Dr. David Maine Discusses Nerve Blocks For Pain Relief

December 1, 2014
Interventional Pain Management - Mercy - Baltimore

According to the American Academy of Pain Management, millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, and when medication and other treatments don't work, doctors may turn to nerve blocks to diagnose the cause and relieve the pain.

Gale Patillo-Perry, a soon-to-be retiree, always enjoyed being active. She's been roller skating since she was 7 and likes walking with her friends, but that changed 10 years ago when an intense pain took over her right thigh.

"It started from the kneecap and it worked its way up to the pelvic area, and it's like a thousand little pins, little needles sticking you, all attacking at one time," Patillo-Perry said.

"She had something called meralgia paresthetica, which is entrapment of a nerve on the thigh. That can often cause burning and sensitivity to anything touching it, even clothing," Dr. David Maine, Director of The Center for Interventional Pain Management at Mercy, explained.

According to Dr. Maine, when pain medication didn't help, Patillo-Perry received nerve blocks to diagnose and treat her pain.

"Most of the time that involves administering an anti-inflammatory or some type of steroid over the affected nerve, whether that be in the spine or in the periphery -- the arms or your legs. It really depends on the situation, on what we think is causing the complaints," said Dr. Maine, who then pointed out to how the procedure worked.

"Here's the needle coming in through the outside of her thigh," he explained. "Around this region, the nerves coalesce, as if the branches of a tree are coming to form the trunk. At that point, we inject the anesthetic and the anti-inflammatory," Dr. Maine added.

Patillo-Perry said she's happy with the results. Dr. Maine noted that it is important for patients to continue managing their pain.

"You don't want that pain to come back, and so longitudinal follow-up is part of it, just like treatment of hypertension or heart disease or really anything when it comes to your body," he said.

"I dealt with that for a long, long time, so now to be pain-free -- it's wonderful. It's amazing," Patillo-Perry said. 

View Dr. Maine’s interview regarding nerve blocks for pain.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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