Diagnostic Medial Branch Block as a Chronic Pain Management Therapy

The Pain & Spine Institute in Chicago, IL provides men and women of all ages experiencing back pain and other spinal pain problems with a range of innovative pain management services. Our initial consultation with you may determine that you are a good candidate for an effective diagnostic technique known as a Diagnostic Medial Branch Block.

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A doctor informing a patient about Diagnostic Medial Branch Block

What Is Medial Branch Block?

When the facet joints, those joints that are a part of the bony network of the spine projecting from the vertebra, become inflamed, a dull to severe ache can begin to occur in the lower back, radiating down the buttocks and lower thighs. This painful condition can also occur around the neck facet joints, causing pain when turning the head, with pain often radiating throughout the neck and shoulders.

A Diagnostic Medial Branch Block is an injection of a potent local anesthetic on those medial branch nerves connecting to these inflamed facet joints.

Is Hospitalization Required?

Patients can have this diagnostic procedure done at the Pain & Spine Institute. Blood pressure and oxygenation are monitored throughout the procedure as you lie either on your stomach for a back injection or on your side for neck injections. A very small volume of local anesthetic is carefully and skillfully injected by the doctor along the location of each medial branch nerve. You most likely will feel a pinch and a slight burning sensation as the doctor inserts the needle, but the Diagnostic Medial Branch Block is not a painful procedure. Patients can go home after a brief recovery period at the clinic observed by a nurse.

A smiling woman who is happy because she got a Diagnostic Medial Branch Block

What Can I Expect As a Result of this Procedure?

Many patients experience a reduction or elimination of their pain, some for a few hours, and others for a few days. But the degree of pain elimination you experience after having the Diagnostic Medial Branch Block is vital to informing the doctor as to just how effective further therapy, such as lesioning the medial branch nerves, will be in helping to manage or eliminate back and neck pain.

The Risks and Side Effects

If you and your doctor decide that this diagnostic technique would be beneficial to determining the right pain management therapy for your condition, you should know that there are very few risks to undergoing this procedure. Pain at the injection site is common, but bleeding and nerve damage are rare.

Men and women who want to take the next step in their journey toward effective pain management in chicago should contact the Pain & Spine Institute today to schedule an informative consultation. This consultation can prove invaluable to you as the doctor can answer your questions about the benefits of the Diagnostic Medial Branch Block as they apply to your specific medical condition and degree of pain.

The Pain & Spine Institute is a team of dedicated healthcare professionals committed to helping you find your way out of pain. For many individuals, undergoing a Diagnostic Medial Branch Block has proven a successful step on that journey toward a pain-free life.

To learn more about joint injections for the shoulder, hip or knee, contact the Pain & Spine Institute of Joliet, Ill., at 1-888-362-7472 or 815-729-0700.

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FAQs About Diagnostic Medial Branch Block

There are a variety of conditions that can be treated with a medial branch block. These include facet joint syndrome, spondylosis, cervical degenerative disc disease, and many more. For more information on this, you may consult with our doctor. They will be able to help you determine whether or not this is the right treatment for your condition.

The procedure for a medial branch block is quite simple. First, you will be asked to lie down on your stomach or your side, depending on where the injection will be taking place. Next, our doctor will clean the area and insert a very small needle into the affected area. You may feel a pinch and a slight burning sensation, but the procedure is not painful. Once the needle is in place, our doctor will inject a small amount of local anesthetic into the area. This will help to numb the area and provide relief from pain. Patients can typically go home after a brief recovery period at the hospital.

Medial branch blocks are generally quite effective in relieving pain. In fact, many patients experience a complete elimination of their pain or a significant reduction in pain after some time or a few days. However, if you suffer from severe pain and other treatments have not been effective, then a medial branch block may be the right treatment. You may consult with our doctor to see if this is the right treatment for your condition.

You should not eat or drink for at least four to six hours before the procedure. And your doctor will likely give you some specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, such as what to wear and what not to bring with you. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully in order to ensure a successful procedure. To know more about this procedure, please don’t hesitate to consult with our pain management specialist.

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