What is it?
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic drug that can be administered as an effective treatment for chronic pain when other noninvasive treatment options have already been exhausted.
What does it do?
After a peripheral nerve injury, the nerves become increasingly sensitive to chemical and mechanical stimuli that trigger sensations of pain. These pain signals are initiated by the opening of voltage-gated sodium channels on the nerve cells, allowing the influx of Na+ to ultimately create an action potential which triggers the delivery of a pain signal. Lidocaine’s role is to reduce the firing of these pain signals by blocking those sodium channels, ultimately reducing neuropathic and other chronic pain conditions.
What is it for?
Lidocaine infusions have been used for potential treatment in many chronic pain and cancer-related pain syndromes once other noninvasive treatment options have been attempted. Some of these syndromes include: peripheral nerve injury, diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and dysesthetic pain after a spinal cord injury.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
In high doses, the administration of lidocaine may produce allergic reactions, seizures, or toxicity. It is important that the patient consults with their physician if they have any of these concerns.
Potential side effects associated with lidocaine dosage include: tinnitus, sedation, dizziness, and in rare instances, seizures and arrhythmias.
Dr. DeCaria is a double-board certified physician in anesthesiology and pain management medicine with extensive training and experience in treating chronic pain with trigger point injections.
Schedule your appointment with Dr. DeCaria of Revitalize Medical Center in Glenview and Evanton, IL, to take the first step towards a long-term solution for your chronic pain!