A medial branch block is a diagnostic tool to determine the source and cause of spine pain. It’s one of the many techniques available at Integrated Pain Consultants and can help you, and your doctor determines the next best step towards pain management. This procedure involves injecting an anesthetic into the medial branch nerves that connect to a painful facet joint. Many areas of the spine may be injected to determine the pain source.
The results are immediate. If a patient finds that the pain largely disappears after the injection, then the particular facet joint causing the pain has been pinpointed. When this happens, the patient might be a good candidate for medial branch radiofrequency ablation for long-term relief.
Your doctor may have recommended a medial branch block because they suspect the pain is being caused at a facet joint. Before undergoing a more invasive procedure, it’s important to be certain that the facet joint is the pain source. A medial branch block is a fast, effective, and relatively non-invasive diagnostic tool.
Radiofrequency ablation is an injection that heats the area where nerves are sending pain signals to the brain. It doesn’t technically “stop” the pain, but it does stop the pain signals. Besides this “block,” the body and brain function normally. RF ablation might be a good solution for those who aren’t candidates for surgery, want to avoid surgery, or are merely interested in alternative treatment options.
Many times, medial branch blocks are recommended when a patient has already received facet joint injections without relief. However, this isn’t always the case. Given that it is a relatively simple and cost-effective diagnostic tool, many patients with joint pain might have the procedure recommended to them.
If you’ve been struggling to find a pain management solution, medial branch block might be the next step for you. Ruling out pain sources is an essential part of the process. Call Integrated Pain Consultants at 480-626-2552 and schedule your consultation today.