There are alternatives to pain management that aren’t invasive and don’t require ongoing prescription drugs. At Integrated Pain Consultants, medical experts prioritize conservative treatments, including medial branch block injections. This simple injection is a strong and local anesthetic that impacts the medial branch nerves. These nerves support the facet joints (zygapophysial joints) and are part of the spine’s framework. The spine, and particularly the lumbar spine, is a common pain site.
The facet joints are small projections in between the vertebrae. However, they can become inflamed and cause an ache in the back. Standing for long periods and bending can exacerbate this pain. Cervical (neck) pain is another common pain site in the spine. It can present as an ache in the neck that can extend to the shoulders. Looking up or turning the head can make this pain worse.
Medial branch block injections are a proven pain reliever. The injection is painless and only takes a few minutes. Most appointments for a medial branch block take about an hour. Most people feel a small pinch at most, followed by a slight burning when the anesthetic is injected into the skin. Afterward, you’ll feel numbness in the area and perhaps a small pressure at the injection site. Both of these side effects will go away within a day.
A very small needle is used to administer the injection, and in most cases only 0.3 mL is necessary. Pain relief is often immediate. The pain may be drastically lessened, or may disappear entirely.
Most people can immediately return to work after their appointment and resume their normal daily activities. However, it’s important to know that the effects of medial branch block injections last for only a couple of days. It’s designed to predict how well a patient may respond to treatment to the targeted medial branch nerve. If a patient responds well, they may be a good candidate for radiofrequency treatments, which are longer lasting. Find out more and schedule your appointment with Integrated Pain Consultants today.