Medial Branch Blocks

Medial Branch Blocks

Medial Branch Blocks services offered in Newburyport, Danvers and Gloucester, MA

Medial branch blocks are injections that identify and temporarily treat pain from the spinal facet joints. With locations in Gloucester, Danvers, and Newburyport, Massachusetts, the team of premier interventional pain specialists offers convenient and affordable medial branch blocks in the office setting.  At Pain Management Centers of New England in Newburyport, there is never a hospital or surgical center facility fee.  Book your appointment by calling the nearest office or clicking on the provided scheduling link now.

Medial Branch Blocks QA

What are medial branch blocks?

Medial branch blocks are injections that target the nerves connected to facet joints. The facet joints join your spinal vertebrae, so they allow you to move your neck and back forward, backward and allow for rotational movement.

Two medial branch nerves fan out from each facet joint. These tiny nerves transmit pain signals from your facet joints, through the nerve network, and up to your brain.  Two medial branches must be blocked to determine if that particular facet joint is the cause of your spinal pain.

Medial branch blocks can disrupt this pain signaling process with a nerve-numbing medication.At times a steroid may be added to the numbning mediation.  As with sacroiliac joint injections, medial branch blocks can be both a diagnostic and treatment procedure. 

When might I need a medial branch block?

You might need a medial branch block injection if you have chronic low back, thoracic or neck pain, and conservative treatments did not relieve your pain. This type of injection can help the Pain Management Centers of New England team precisely identify the source of your pain and to determine if you would be an appropriate candiate for radiofrequency ablation (neurotomy) of the medial branches. 

What can I expect from a medial branch block procedure? 

You receive a numbing medication at the site of your injection. While lying on your side or stomach, you receive the medial branch block injection (a nerve-numbing anesthetic) around the medial branch nerves. You may feel some brief stinging or burning during the administration of the numbing medication.  Fluoroscopic images (xray) are utilized to directed the injection to the medial branch to assure accuracy.

The procedure often targets a few different medial branch nerves to identify your pain generators. After your injections, you rest for a brief period, and a loved one can drive you home after that. 

You monitor changes in your pain level over the next few hours. If a medial branch block is successful, you experience significant pain relief and have a follow-up appointment within a few weeks to discuss your results.

What is the next step after a medial branch block?

Medial branch blocks are mainly diagnostic, so the pain relief is only temporary.  A second set of diagnostic medial branch blocks is necessary to validate your response to the first set of blocks.  Because it pinpoints your pain generators, you can then consider a long-lasting treatment such as radiofrequency ablation to burn and deactivate the problem nerves. 

If you don’t experience pain relief after a medial branch block, you may need other diagnostic procedures to find the reason for your pain. Regardless of the origin, pain is treatable. 

Pain Management Centers of New England offers the most advanced diagnosis and treatment options to help you restore full function and quality of life. Call the experts today for exemplary pain management care, or click on the convenient online scheduling feature now.