Medial branch blocks have an important place in back pain medicine. Medial branch block is a procedure in which an anesthetic is injected near small medial nerves connected to a specific facet joint. Facet joints are small bony projections from one vertebra meeting with similar bony projections from the vertebra above or below. Because of acute and chronic conditions, the facet can become inflamed.
The pain pattern in the neck facet joints include the achiness in the neck, slight radiation across the neck and shoulders, pain with turning the head from side to side or by looking up. For lower back facet joints, the pattern of pain is an achiness in the lower back, radiating across the lower back and slightly down the back of the buttocks and upper thighs. Usually, standing or bending backward worsens the pain.
The goal of this treatment is to have long-term pain relief. It would usually just take an hour, which includes the preparation time and the recovery time.
This is usually the procedure for a medial branch blocks treatment:
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