What is a Medial Branch Block?
This is an injection of numbing medicine. It bathes the medial branch nerves, which attach to the facet joints of your spine. These nerves hurt when the facet joints are injured or diseased. The injection helps find the source of your pain and it may relieve your pain for a brief time.
About the Procedure
Your Pain MD Houston administers local anesthetic. This numbs your skin and tissue around the areas to be injected.
Next, your doctor gates at the needle through the numbed tissues. A video x-ray device called a “fluoroscope“ helps find your medial branch nerve. Contrast dye is injected to make sure the needle is in the right place. Then, the doctor at Pain MD Houston injects numbing medicine onto the nerves. The medicine temporarily numbs the nerves. If this area is the source of your pain, you’ll feel immediate pain relief. More than one level of the spine may need to be injected.
What to expect
When the procedure is finished, you’ll be watched for a brief time. Then you can go home. You may feel pain relief for the next few hours. You may be asked to keep track of your pain level as the medicine wears off. If the block was successful, your Pain MD Houston doctor can recommend a procedure to provide long-lasting relief.
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What is a Medial Branch Block (CERVICAL)?
This is an injection of numbing medicine that bathes the medial branch nerves. These nerves are attached to the facet joints of the spine. Disease or injury of these joints can cause pain in the medial branch nerves. This pain may travel through the neck, shoulders, upper back and head. A medial branch block can help your Pain MD Houston physician find the source of your pain. It may also provide temporary pain relief.
Preparation of the procedure
In preparation for the procedure, the physician injects local anesthetic. This numbs the skin and tissue around the level or levels that will be injected.
What to expect
Next, the physician pushes a thin needle through the numbed tissue. The physician uses an e-ray device called a fluoroscope to see the needle in your body. The needle is carefully guided toward the medial branch nerves. Contrast dye is injected through the needle to confirm that it is positioned correctly.
When the needle is in place, the physician at Pain MD Houston injects numbing medicine onto the nerves. This medicine temporarily numbs sensation. If this area is the source of your pain, you will experience immediate pain relief. More than one level of the spine may need to be injected.
You Have Options
We have seen that a number of clinics focus on one or two modalities for treatment. The problem is that pain is neurological and that means "it's complex". There are a wide variety of therapies, products, at-home activities, procedures and medicines that can be used and we believe there's a place for all. Determining which (or combination thereof) is right for you is a process for you and your Pain MD to work together on.
Those could be laser ablation, spinal cord stimulation, Ketamine infusions, Platelet Rich Plasma, Steroid injections, Stem cell therapy, Botox, trigger point injections and much more!