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How a Medial Branch Block Can Successfully Treat Your Back Pain

How a Medial Branch Block Can Successfully Treat Your Back Pain

At Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute in Plainsboro or Manalapan Township, New Jersey, we understand the impact that back pain can have on you. When you suffer from back pain, not only can it interrupt your daily routine, but it can also affect your overall quality of life. 

That’s why finding a solution is imperative.

Dr. Ronak Patel is a double board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist who knows how to identify the root cause of your back pain and provide effective treatment. A medial branch block is one of the many procedures that Dr. Patel performs. 

In this post, we explain the structure of your spine as it relates to back pain and how a medial branch block may help.

How facet joints play a role in your back pain

Your facet joints are the bony structures that connect the bones of your spine together. In each vertebral segment, you have two facet joints that play a vital role in controlling the movement of your spine and keeping your vertebrae stable.

You have nerve roots that pass through your facet joints that travel from your spinal cord to your limbs and other parts of your body. The medial branch nerves are very small and move along the outside of your facet joints, controlling some of the muscles in your neck and back.

How a medial branch block works

Medial branch blocks prevent your medial branch nerves from telling your brain that you have pain. 

We first give you a local anesthetic to determine the source of your pain. If the injection alleviates your pain between 50% and 75%, you most likely have a facet joint and/or medial branch nerve issue.

To block your nerve signals, we have you lie face-down on your abdomen. We make sure you’re comfortable before beginning the procedure.

Dr. Patel then inserts a needle into the targeted area and delivers the medication to destroy the nerve tissue.

Benefits of a medial branch block

Medial branch blocks offer patients several benefits. 

Safe procedure

A medial branch block is a minimally invasive procedure and has little to no risk of side effects.

Quick procedure

From start to finish, including preparation time, the treatment only takes about an hour.

Diagnoses the root cause

The injection can serve as a diagnostic tool to determine that your pain is because of your facet joints. 

Diagnoses other issues

A medial branch block can also help diagnose other issues like sciatica, which can be the result of facet joint degeneration. 

Quick recovery

After your procedure, your recovery only takes about an hour or less and provides immediate relief for many.


Though your nerve tissue may grow back eventually, a medial branch block can provide relief for several months up to two years, which gives you the ability to manage it. 

To learn more about a medial branch block and to find out if it’s right for you, call our friendly office staff today or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment.

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