Dr. Nikesh Seth offers a variety of pain management treatments, including the medial branch block. It’s a local, strong anesthetic that affects the medial branch nerves—those responsible for the facet joints. These joints are in the spine and are the little bony points between vertebrae. When facet joints are inflamed, low back pain happens. This pain can become radicular and spread into the glutes and thighs. Facet joints in the neck can also become inflamed.
A medial branch block injection takes minutes, but it takes about one hour for pain relief to occur. It’s a simple anesthetic that’s long-lasting. All patients feel is a small pinch, similar to getting a flu shot. Some patients report that their pain is entirely gone soon after the injection, while others find that it’s significantly reduced. However, medial branch blocks are diagnostic. They are designed to only last a few hours or two days at the most. The goal is to gauge whether the patient is a good match for other, semi-permanent or permanent pain management solutions like radiofrequency ablation (RFA).
Only your doctor can determine if a medial branch block is a good idea when customizing your treatment plan. If a patient experiences pain relief from a medial branch block, that’s an indicator that RFA (using radiofrequency waves for pain management) will probably be effective.
There are virtually no side effects to medial branch blocks. However, it is a fantastic method for gauging if future treatments will work. It helps save time and money. No patient should have to undergo a more complicated procedure without knowing if they’re a good candidate or not. With a medial branch block, you’ll get a preview of what to expect. As an added bonus, you will also get to enjoy a few hours pain-free (assuming you’re a match for RFA). Schedule your evaluation today by contacting Integrated Pain Consultants.