Medial Branch Block

Medial Branch Block services offered in Atlanta, Fayetteville, Stockbridge, Newnan, GA

Neck and back pain seldom improve with standard treatments. But don’t give up on enjoying days with less (or no) pain because the experienced physicians at Pain Consultants of Atlanta offer a wide range of advanced treatments. When they suspect your pain originates from problems in the vertebra, like arthritis, they may recommend a medial branch block. Don’t wait to find pain relief; connect through online booking or call the nearest office today. The team has four offices located in Atlanta, Fayetteville, Stockbridge and Newnan, Georgia.

What is a medial branch block?

A medial branch block is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure to determine if your neck or back pain is coming from the spine’s facet joints. The medial branch nerves carry pain from the joints to your brain. Your provider performs a block by injecting a local anesthetic at the medial branch nerve.

Anesthetics stop nerves from transmitting electrical pain signals. If your pain improves after a medial branch block, it proves the targeted spinal joint is the source of your pain. And that opens the door to other treatments providing long-lasting pain relief.

When would I need a medial branch block?

You may need a medial branch block if you have neck or back pain and/or stiffness; problems that may occur if you have:

  • Pinched nerves 
  • Facet joint osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Joint strain and inflammation
  • Pinched soft tissues (synovial lining)
  • Traumatic injury (fall, sports injury, or car accident)
  • Overuse injuries
  • Facet joint instability

In addition to neck or back pain, you may also have pain in your arms or legs.

What will I experience during a medial branch block?

You don’t need to worry about pain during your medial branch block. Your provider uses a local anesthetic to numb the area and they offer a sedative if you need help relaxing or reducing anxiety.

While you lay on your stomach, your provider uses X-ray imaging to see the nerves and guide the needle. They gently insert a small needle, inject a dye to verify the needle’s location, and then inject the anesthetic.

What happens after I have a medial branch block?

The nerve block is effective If the injected anesthetic relieves your pain. Then your provider discusses treatment options that target the same nerve but provide long-lasting results.

In many cases, they recommend radiofrequency ablation. This procedure uses a device that’s inserted through your skin just like a needle. But once it’s placed on the nerve, your provider sends a controlled burst of radiofrequency energy into the nerve, creating a wound that blocks the pain signals.

Radiofrequency ablation may last nine months or longer, depending on whether the nerve heals and regrows.

Call the caring team at Pain Consultants of Atlanta or request an appointment online today to get relief from neck and back pain.