Medial branch nerves feed out from the facet joints in your spine, carrying pain signals to the brain. Individuals who are experiencing pain due to inflamed facet joints may be a great candidate for a diagnostic medial branch block.
If you suspect you are struggling with pain related to inflammation in your facet joints, you should consult a doctor to find out if a diagnostic medial branch block is right for you. This diagnostic procedure is effective at identifying conditions related to facet joint inflammation. Contact your local NJ Spine & Orthopedic branch to determine if this procedure is a viable option to treat your pain.
The facet joints are part of the bony network that protects your vertebrae. When these joints become inflamed, your medial branch nerves will send a pain signal to your brain. As a result, pain usually occurs in the lower back, and in most cases, will radiate down the legs. Additionally, if any of the facet joints in your neck become inflamed, pain can occur when turning your head and radiate down your shoulders.
A Diagnostic medial branch block is a procedure where a local anesthetic is injected into the medial branch nerves connected to your inflamed facet joints. This procedure is primarily used for diagnostic purposes, meaning that if a patient experiences pain relief after the injection, they may be a candidate for a follow-up procedure that would provide long-term relief.
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During a medial branch block procedure, a very small amount of local anesthetic is carefully injected into the nerves connected to the specific facet joints your doctor suspects are inflamed. When the doctor inserts the needle, you may feel a burning sensation or pinch. This procedure is not painful, and patients are usually allowed to go home after a short recovery period at the clinic.
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The majority of patients who have a diagnostic medial branch block will experience pain relief. However, this relief occurs on a spectrum. Some may have their pain eliminated for a couple of hours while others will not experience pain for a couple of days. Because this is a diagnostic procedure, the main purpose is to identify the facet joints as the cause of pain and help your doctor identify what additional treatments will provide long-term relief.
If you have been experiencing lower back pain that radiates down your legs or pain in your neck that radiates to your shoulders, you may be a good candidate for a medial branch block. Consulting a skilled spine doctor is the best way to determine if this procedure is right for you. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our surgeons are dedicated to treating your pain and helping you get your life back.
Our experienced and board-certified neurologists, neurosurgeons, and orthopedic specialists work together to treat spine and back disorders with minimally invasive techniques. Our doctors understand that every person is unique and requires a personalized treatment plan. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we treat people, not patients. To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled spine experts, call (866) 272-9271 or fill out our online contact form.
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