The medial branch nerves connect to facet joints in your spine and transmit pain signals to the brain. A medial branch block is a diagnostic procedure that helps determine if the medial branch nerves are the source of your pain. Interventional pain management specialist Samiullah Kundi, MD, at Indiana Neurology and Pain Center, with offices on the east and west side of Indianapolis, Indiana, performs medial branch block procedures. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today to learn more.
Your spine is a complex system made up of bones, joints, discs, ligaments, and nerves. The medial branch nerves are sensory nerves that run through your spine's facet joints and send pain signals to your brain. The facet joints support spinal mobility.
Compression or irritation of the medial branch nerve from a herniated disc or spinal stenosis may be a source of chronic neck or back pain.
The medial branch block is a diagnostic procedure that helps identify the source of your neck or back pain. During the procedure, your provider at Indiana Neurology and Pain Center injects an anesthetic directly into the affected nerve.
If you experience pain relief following your medial branch block, then your provider at Indiana Neurology and Pain Center may consider you a good candidate for other procedures that provide long-term pain relief, such as radiofrequency ablation.
Your medial branch block is an outpatient procedure that takes about 30 to 60 minutes. Your provider first administers a sedative to help you relax.
You're then positioned on the exam table face down, and your provider injects a local anesthetic to numb the skin. You may feel a burning or stinging sensation during this injection.
Using guided-imagery, your provider inserts a needle into the appropriate location and injects the medication, which may contain a local anesthetic with or without a steroid.
After a medial branch block, your provider sends you to the recovery area for monitoring and then discharges you home. You can’t drive for up to 24 hours after a medial branch block, so you need to arrange for someone to drive you home.
If successful, you should experience pain relief soon after the injection. Indiana Neurology and Pain Center recommends you keep a pain log and asks you to return to the office about a week after the procedure to discuss the next steps.
A medial branch block may help determine the source of your pain so you can get treatments that provide long-term pain relief. Call Indiana Neurology and Pain Center, or book an appointment online today.