Back pain may occur for a number of reasons, so a physician must use procedures that rule out certain conditions in order to develop an accurate back pain diagnosis. One such procedure is a medial branch nerve block.
Medial nerves are small nerve branches that deliver pain signals to the brain from the spinal facet joints and the surrounding muscles. By numbing these nerves, a physician can determine whether facet joint degeneration is the cause of back pain. If facet joint pain is confirmed, the recommended treatment is usually radiofrequency ablation (also called radiofrequency rhizotomy or radiofrequency neurotomy).
Facet joints connect each vertabra in the spine, so depending on how widespread the pain is, more than one injection may be necessary to evaluate individual joints. A local anesthetic is applied to the injection site or sites before a physician injects medication that numbs the nerves. If pain relief is immediate, facet joint dysfunction is confirmed.
Patients may have mild soreness and bruising following this procedure but are able to go home the same day. If we determine that a facet joint is contributing to pain, we may recommend radiofrequency ablation (also called radiofrequency rhizotomy). This outpatient procedure dampens pain signals at the source.
If you need relief from chronic back pain, the first step is getting an accurate diagnosis. Center for Pain Management uses medial branch nerve blocks and state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to determine what’s causing the pain. We then develop a treatment plan that can help get you back on your feet again.
Call today to request a consultation with our pain management specialists: (317) 706-7246.