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Sympathetic Nerve Block

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

A sympathetic nerve block is an injection of anesthesia medicine around peripheral nerves near your spine. You may need a sympathetic nerve block to locate an area of pain or to relieve nerve pain. It may be used to help your healthcare provider guide your treatment. You may need a series of injections if your pain or condition improves after the first.


Call 911 if:

  • You have a seizure.
  • You have trouble breathing.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You develop hives or swelling.
  • You have severe pain.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are dizzy or have ringing in your ears.
  • You feel numbness or tingling around your mouth.
  • You have numbness or weakness in a limb 8 hours or more after your procedure.
  • You continue to bleed at the site of the needle insertion.
  • You have questions or concerns about sympathetic nerve blocks.


  • Decrease your activity the day of your procedure. Do not return to work until your healthcare provider says it is okay.
  • Be careful if your leg is numb. Your leg may not be able to support your weight. Do not drive until numbness is gone.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Bring your symptom record to your follow-up visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.