Recent clinical research has revealed that pain from your facet joints may contribute up to 45 percent of your lower back pain. The facet joints are the bony structures that connect your spinal vertebrae, thus helping you with the movement of the spine and offering support and stability to the vertebrae. The joint pain in this region may limit your actions and affect your lifestyle, making it difficult for you to perform the daily tasks of life. Fortunately, many treatment options are available to help you eliminate this condition; medial branch nerve block is one of them.
A medial branch nerve block is considered a non-invasive treatment for inflamed or damaged facet joints in your spine. It works by interrupting the sensory nerve supply to the affected facet joint, thus relieving the pain.
What Happens During the Procedure of Medial Branch Nerve Block?
During the procedure, the specialist will treat the targeted area on the skin with a numbing medication. It is followed by using an X-ray to find the affected nerves and injecting a contrast dye to assess the location of the medial branch nerve. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, they inject a small amount of anesthetic onto the affected nerves. You may also be given a steroid injection depending on your specific situation or their recommendation. The process helps you relieve the pain almost instantly.
The whole procedure takes thirty minutes to complete, including its preparation time. After your treatment, you are kept under observation for thirty more minutes.
What are the Benefits of Medial Branch Nerve Block?
The popularity of this minimally-invasive procedure is increasing for all the right reasons. Here are the benefits of medial branch nerve block treatment.
Precise and Long Lasting Results
The effects of this procedure last longer than any other treatment, including back pain relievers or even steroid injections. A medial branch nerve block is also considered a targeted treatment as the medication is injected into a specific spot where the nerves in question are located.
Magical Pain Relief
Experiencing excruciating back pain can take a toll on your overall health. But thanks to the medial branch nerve block, you do not suffer from such pain for a long time. The injection treats the cause of your back pain, thus making movement more comfortable. Even the treatment is not painful at all. It finishes immediately without making you feel anxious.
Preventing the Need for Surgery
If you are not yet ready for surgery, taking a medial branch nerve block can delay its requirement in your body. When other treatments for your back pain do not work, many doctors suggest this procedure. The treatment helps relieve pain specific to nerves in the back, thus eliminating the need for surgery.
Diagnosis of Other Conditions
One of the low-key benefits of medial branch block injections is that they can also help diagnose other pain conditions, such as sciatica. Sciatic pain may be the result of facet joint degeneration. Thus, when the surrounding nerves are treated and relief is found, the back and neck specialist can use medial branch nerve block to identify painful sciatica.
Does this Procedure Involve any Special After-Care?
You are advised to rest for a couple of days after the procedure. You may perform all your daily activities as tolerated. Medial branch blocks may help many people suffering from back pain. But before you opt for this procedure, we suggest you speak with your doctor.
To learn if the medial branch nerve block is the right treatment for you or not, consult your doctor. They will ask if you are undergoing any other treatment or taking any form of long-term medication. If all goes well, you will be given a thumbs up for the procedure.