Medial Branch Block

Athens Spine Center

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Athens, GA

If you’ve been searching for the answers to your back pain and have found yourself at a dead-end, you could benefit from a medial branch block. At Athens Spine Center in Athens, Georgia, the team of board-certified interventional pain management specialists uses a medial branch block to determine the source of patients’ back pain and the next steps in their treatment plan. Call Athens Spine Center or book an appointment online to see if a medial branch block is right for you.

Medial Branch Block Q & A

What is a medial branch block?

A medial branch block is a type of spinal injection that temporarily interrupts the pain signals from medial branch nerves in your spine. These nerves are small nerves that branch out from the facet joints in your spine, which are the connection between the bones in your spine.

If you experience chronic back pain, the team at Athens Spine Center provides a medial branch block as a test to locate the source of your pain. 

What is the purpose of a medial branch block?

The team at Athens Spine Center primarily uses a medial branch block to diagnose facet joint syndrome, which is a degenerative condition of the spine that resembles arthritis. It’s caused by the cartilage in your facet joints breaking down and becoming inflamed. 

To diagnose facet joint syndrome with a medial branch block, the team injects an anesthetic near the medial nerves connected to the affected facet joint and assesses your reaction to the injection. If you experience significant pain relief after the injection, the team may determine that the facet joint is the cause of your pain. 

What should I expect with a medial branch block?

Though a medial branch block can provide temporary pain relief, it’s primarily a diagnostic tool to determine the source of your back pain and the best treatment for long-term pain relief.

When receiving a medial branch block, you can expect one of the following outcomes:

The pain doesn't go away

  • This means your back pain is not a result of facet joint problems but a different issue.

The pain goes away for a few hours, then returns

  • This means your back problems are most likely the result of facet joint problems and require further treatment, such as medial branch radiofrequency ablation for long-term pain relief. 

How does the medial branch block procedure work? 

Before beginning the procedure at Athens Spine Center, the team monitors your vitals to ensure you’re prepared to receive the medial branch block. 

After this, they administer the local anesthesia to insert the injection, which lasts a few seconds. Once you’ve received the injection, the team observes your reaction to the medial branch block to determine if you could benefit from further treatment to the facet joint area and medial nerves.

To learn more about medial branch block, call Athens Spine Center or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.