Mercy Pain Management Specialist Dr. David Maine Discusses Nerve Blocks For Pain Relief
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.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.