The medial branch nerves deliver pain signals from the spine to the brain. Certain conditions and injuries can affect these nerves and cause incredible pain in a patient. A medial branch block is a procedure in which local anesthetic is injected onto the medial branch nerves to reduce facet joint pain in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine.
Medial Branch Nerves
A medial branch block is used to reduce pain from the medial branch nerves. These nerves connect the facet joints in the spine to the pain centers in the brain. When one of these nerves is damaged or impacted, it sends pain signals to the brain and the patient feels the pain. The goal of a medial branch block is to prohibit the nerves from sending these pain signals to the brain.
Here’s how the procedure goes:
- The patient is given a local anesthetic medication.
- The physician guides a needle through the numb skin to the affected area and to the medial branch nerves near the facet joints in question.
- Once there, a local anesthetic medication is injected onto the nerve(s).
This procedure is primarily used as a diagnostic tool in a radiofrequency ablation work-up. If the patient experiences pain relief, the source of pain can be confirmed. If there is no pain relief, the physician can cross the medial nerves off the list and investigate other potential pain sources.
Injections for Pain Relief in Edina
If you are struggling with neck or back pain and have already tried conservative treatment methods such as chiropractic care or physical therapy, a medial branch block may help you get the bottom of the cause of your pain and also provide pain relief. Contact us today and set up an appointment to see if a medial branch block can help reduce your pain. Submit an appointment request form or give us a ring at (612) 20-SPINE.