Did you know clinical research has shown that pain from your facet joints causes up to 45% of your lower back pain? The facet joints are the bony structures that connect the spinal vertebrae, helping with the movement of the spine and giving support and stability to the vertebrae. Facet joint pain can limit your actions and make it difficult to perform your daily tasks. Luckily, treatments are available to alleviate this pain. One safe and effective treatment option you have is the minimally invasive procedure called medial branch block.
What Is A Medial Branch Block?
A medial branch block is a noninvasive treatment used for damaged or inflamed facet joints in your spine. It works by interrupting the sensory nerve supply to the affected facet joint.
During the procedure, your doctor will treat the target area on your skin with numbing medication. Then, using an X-ray or fluoroscopy, the doctor will find the affected nerves and inject a contrast dye to assess the location of the medial branch nerve. Once confirmed, a small amount of the anesthetic will be slowly injected onto each affected nerve. A steroid injection may or may not be used, depending on your specific situation and your doctor’s recommendation. The anesthetic will relieve pain almost instantly.
Performing a medial branch block takes about 30 minutes, including the preparation time. Following the treatment, you will rest for 30 minutes so the doctor can observe you.
Medial Branch Block Benefits
Medial branch block is a minimally invasive procedure, making it safer than surgical options to treat your back pain. Other benefits of getting a medial branch block are:
Precise and Long Lasting Results
The effects of a medial branch block last longer than other treatments (such as pain relievers and steroid injections). It is also a targeted treatment because the medication is injected into a specific spot so the nerves in question are located. This results in a more targeted treatment that gives more effective results.
Pain relief is the primary benefit of getting a medial branch block. It treats the cause of your back pain, making movement more comfortable. Even the treatment itself isn’t painful. You won’t feel a thing during treatment. Medial branch blocks give you back control of your life because without debilitating pain, you can continue on with your life.
Delay or Prevent the Need of Surgery
Another benefit of a medial branch block is that it can delay the need of back surgery. In a lot of cases, back surgery may be recommended when other treatments do not work in alleviating pain. However, medial branch blocks can help relieve pain specific to nerves in the back, which significantly or even completely eliminate the need for surgery.
Medial Branch Block at Lynx Healthcare
If you are experiencing recurring pain in your back that is affecting your daily routine, seek medical attention. There are a variety of treatments available that can help alleviate your symptoms.
The board-certified physicians in Lynx Healthcare can help treat your back pain. Call us now at (509) 591-0070 to make an appointment. You may also use our online form to request an appointment. We look forward to helping you find relief from back pain.