It is an injection of local anesthetic to the suspected pain generator for confirming the diagnosis.
In which conditions is it useful?
Whenever there is a muscle, ligament, tendon or nerve pain and the diagnosis is suspected but not confirmed.
Is it really better than MRI and CT?
MRI, CT and ultrasound can show injured tissue but they can not confirm whether that tissue is causing the pain. A diagnostic block confirms it. It is also much cheaper and faster.
Does that mean that I can avoid getting an MRI or CT?
Yes. In most cases. And in many cases, a diagnostic block gives more helpful information.
Ok, I am interested, but are there any side effects?
The injection is a local anaesthetic only. It works for an hour and after that, the effect completely disappears. There are no permanent or long-term effects.
How much time does it take?
Why is this procedure not being offered more widely?
It requires a high level of expertise and experience in the field of pain medicine. Pain medicine is still budding in India. As more doctors enter this field, more clinics will offer this.
But it is only for diagnosis, what about the cure?
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment options will be discussed with you. Both you and your doctor will be in a much better position to make the correct decision.
Ok, that sounds good. How exactly will the procedure go?
The doctor will inject a small dose of the local anaesthetic to the suspected painful tissue, with a very thin needle. Your pain will decrease significantly within 2 minutes. This decrease confirms that the suspected tissue is actually the pain generator. It also confirms that treatng that tissue will be effective in relieving your pain.