This Blog Features…
- Medical branch nerves surround facet joints in the spine and carry pain signals to the brain.
- A lumbar medial branch block is a minimally invasive procedure that diagnoses back pain, but can provide pain relief as well.
- The pain management specialists at The Pain Center of Arizona discuss lumbar medial branch blocks for low back pain.
What Is A Lumbar Medical Branch Block?
A lumbar medial branch block is an injection procedure that pinpoints which facet joint in the low back is causing discomfort. Facet joints are small joints located in between vertebrae that help the spine bend and twist. Each one of these unique joints is surrounded by medial branch nerves, which help carry pain signals from the joints to the brain. Although the purpose of a lumbar medial branch block is to diagnose which facet joint(s) are causing the most pain, this minimally invasive procedure can also provide some pain relief.
Pain in the facet joints usually develops from a spinal condition that causes inflammation. Spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, or degenerative disc disease are just a few conditions that could lead to facet joint pain. Other causes may include trauma or injury to the low back.
What To Expect From The Procedure
The procedure begins with the patient laying face down and with the physician injecting a local anesthetic. This helps minimize the patient’s discomfort during the procedure. The physician will then use a fluoroscope and contrast dye to locate and confirm which medial branch nerves are causing pain.
Once the physician has been able to identify the affected medial branch nerves, he or she will inject an anesthetic into targeted nerves. Two adjacent medial branch nerves in the spine are usually treated during the one injection.
If the patient experiences pain relief immediately after the injection, then the physician can inferthe procedure was a success. This diagnostic process will eventually determine whether or not the patient is a candidate for a procedure called radiofrequency neurotomy (ablation). This particular procedure may provide patients with longer pain relief.
To learn more about lumbar medial branch blocks, or to see if this procedure is right for you, call The Pain Center of Arizona today to schedule an appointment.
If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We have locations across Arizona, including Phoenix, Anthem, Surprise, Mesa, Gilbert, Deer Valley, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and now Prescott and Tucson! We take multiple insurance plans; click here to see if we take yours! To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you soon!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.