Nerve Blocks: An Alternative To Opioids For A Better Recovery
Over the years, nerve blocking technology has enabled surgeons to precisely target the area around the affected nerve to perform musculoskeletal surgeries. Nerve blocks are a type of regional anesthesia that creates a breakdown of communication between the pain signal and the brain. Nerve blocks have become an effective and popular alternative to painkillers. Nerve blocks can reduce opioid use and improve surgery outcomes.
Why use nerve blocks?
Amidst rampant opioid abuse across the world, nerve blocks are increasing in popularity due to the medication’s analgesic potential and alternative to potentially addictive opioids. Surgeons use state-of-the-art ultrasound technology to administer the medication accurately without damaging the nerve directly. Nerve blocks allow patients to remain awake or sleep during the surgery without feeling the surgical pain.
Nerve blocks reduce opioid use
Surgeons depend on non-opioid regional anesthesia for a variety of musculoskeletal surgeries, as well as chest, abdominal, and neck surgeries. Instead of sending off a patient with an opioid prescription, surgeons are now offering nerve blocks during the surgery and over-the-counter painkillers as a complementary pain management option. For more complex surgeries, doctors may prescribe opioid medications in small amounts to reduce the potential of abuse.
Nerve blocks reduce opioid side effects
Nerve blocks are a useful alternative for patients with addiction risks who don’t want to risk developing an opioid dependence after recovering from surgery. Nerve blocks can reduce side effects associated with opioid use such as nausea, lethargy, constipation, and sedation by reducing or, in some cases, eliminating the need for strong painkillers.
Who is a candidate for nerve blocks?
Patients with chronic pain can ask a doctor about the viability of nerve blocks during surgery. Overweight individuals may benefit from nerve blocks to reduce the risk of worsening obstructive sleep apnea symptoms caused by opioid use. Elderly patients can be excellent candidates for nerve blocks to reduce the amount of time the patient spends in the hospital. Individual circumstances can vary, so be sure to ask the surgeon about all pain management alternatives.
Pain management varies from person to person
Depending on the type of surgery and person, a doctor will recommend a personalized treatment plan that takes into account the patient’s medical history, risk of dependence, pain tolerance levels, and other important factors. For more information, speak with a healthcare provider.