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Shoulder pain can be caused by a wide variety of injuries, tissue/nerve damage and degenerative disease. For effective treatment, it is important to find the specific source of the pain. While imaging can show damage to tissues in the shoulder, it does not determine the exact nerves and tissues creating pain. At DOCS Health in Los Angeles, our pain and orthopedic specialists use advanced methods for diagnosis and treatment of shoulder pain conditions. One of the procedures we utilize is suprascapular and axillary nerve block or ablation.

A nerve block uses an injection to interrupt the pain signal to the brain. This technique can be used to stop pain temporarily or to pinpoint the source of pain. In the shoulder, a suprascapular or axillary nerve block injection can be used to determine whether the targeted nerve is responsible for sending pain signals. This can diagnose the source of the pain and may indicate benefits of using shoulder nerve ablation for longer periods of pain relief.

During the nerve block procedure, fluoroscopy is used to guide the needle to the desired location near the nerves. An injection of anesthetic and steroids are used to numb the nerves and gauge the effectiveness on relieving the shoulder pain. The patient is conscious during the procedure and is required to give feedback on their pain level. If the nerve block is effective at relieving the pain, ablation treatment may follow.

Shoulder Nerve Ablation Treatment

A suprascapular and axillary nerve ablation treatment uses an insulated needle to deliver radiofrequency heat energy to the targeted nerves in the shoulder. This can destroy a small amount of nerve tissue that will interrupt pain signals to the brain for up to several months. If the nerve block identifies the correct nerve causing pain, the ablation procedure can be performed at the same appointment.

Suprascapular nerve ablation can be used in rotator cuff injections and other types of scapular and shoulder pain. If you have ongoing shoulder pain and want to explore interventional treatments for relief, come see us at DOCS Health. We offer advanced options in minimally invasive pain treatments at our medical center in Los Angeles. Contact our office to schedule a shoulder exam and pain consultation at our facility in Beverly Hills.