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Intercostal Nerve Blocks

Intercostal nerve blocks consist of a steroid and local anesthetic that target the intercostal nerves, which are located under each rib.

How it Works

This pain management injection takes less than 30 minutes to perform. The local anesthetic and steroid work to reduce swelling and inflammation around the intercostal nerves, which reduces pain. The injection can block one or several nerves at once, depending on what is needed.

A diagnostic injection may be performed first in order to confirm that the intercostal nerves are contributing to pain. If the injection works, your doctor will know how to proceed in order to provide you with pain relief.


Intercostal nerve blocks can reduce pain and irritation caused by the herpes zoster virus, also known as shingles. These injections can also be used to relieve pain in the chest following a surgery.

Intercostal nerve blocks seem to work best for managing a recent onset of pain.


You will notice relief from the local anesthetic that lasts for a few hours following the injection. Relief from the steroid takes effect around the third day and provides more long term relief. Patients can experience relief from intercostal nerve blocks anywhere from several days to a few months. Repeat injections can be performed a week apart if needed.

Soreness at the injection site is common. Risks of bleeding and bruising are rare. You will be able to resume normal activities the following day.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment at Allied Pain & Spine Institute.

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