On the anterior surface of the spine, along the vertebral bodies, there is a chain of nerves, which are commonly referred to as sympathetic nerves or ganglion chains. These nerves are responsible for the back and forth transmission of pain and temperature information between the arms, legs, abdomen, pelvis, and the spinal cord and brain. They can be selectively “switched off” through percutaneous interventions, which are called sympathetic nerve blocks. The intervention typically begins with a diagnostic block, and if successful, it is followed by a permanent version of the procedure, which is usually performed with radiofrequency ablation.

This includes the stellate ganglion, thoracic sympathetic, splanchnic, hypogastric blocks, and the permanent neurolysis of the ganglion impar.