A paravertebral block is a special injection near the spinal column that is designed to decrease pain in and around the chest area. Thin needles are placed adjacent to the upper spinal cord, where nerves connected to the chest and ribs are located. When the syringe is properly placed, the clinician will inject anti-inflammatory steroids or local anesthetic agents into the area. This technique is designed to provide long-lasting pain relief, increased maneuverability, and an opportunity for the body to heal more quickly. Candidates for this procedure include people with shingles, chest injuries, nerve damage, or post-operative pain after chest or breast surgery.
When Valium is taken, patients should eat lightly and have a friend or family member provide transportation. In order to minimize the discomfort associated with the paravertebral block, a local anesthetic is injected into the skin prior to the primary injections. A live X-ray machine is not used with this procedure.