If you are dealing with back or neck pain that’s related to facet joint nerves, you may enjoy significant pain relief from a medial branch block. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers medial branch blocks and other nerve blocks to men and women in Brunswick and Kingsland, GA.
What is a Cervical Medial Branch Block?
A cervical medial branch nerve block is a procedure that utilizes local anesthetic that’s injected near the small medial nerves of the cervical facet joints. These joints form part of the spine’s framework as bony projections on the vertebra that meet facet joints on the adjacent vertebra.
Occasionally, these facet joints are inflamed which can cause intense, burning pain—or, more frequently, an aching in the neck that gets worse when the head is moved side to side. While lumbar facet joints cause lower back pain that radiates to the upper thighs and buttocks, the cervical facets can cause pain in the neck and upper back that can radiate to the shoulders.
What Do Medial Branch Blocks Treat?
Medial branch blocks may be suggested to a patient if they need help in treating back or neck pain, and the doctor deems that the pain could be stemming from their facet joints. The procedure can help determine the source of the patient’s pain and provide them with some temporary pain relief if the source of the problem is indeed their facet joints.
How is the Cervical Branch Block Treatment Performed?
During the procedure, you will lie face-down on an exam table. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the cleansed treatment area and you may be given a sedative to help you relax.
Your physician will guide a small needle into the affected area of your cervical facet joints with the use of live x-ray images. Sometimes a contrast media or dye is used to highlight the precise point where the needle must be injected.
Once the needle is in place, your physician will deliver the local anesthetic and steroid medication around the nerves of your cervical facet joints. The injection itself will only take a few minutes, however the entire procedure may take up to half an hour.
How Long Do Medial Branch Blocks Last?
The rate at which you will achieve lasting pain relief can vary. Some people notice immediate pain relief; others may not notice any change for up to one or two weeks.
Long-term pain relief from the cervical medial branch block treatment can last anywhere from a few days up to several months, although some people do not experience any pain relief at all. In this case, another treatment option will be suggested.
Cervical medial branch blocks in Brunswick and Kingsland, GA can offer significant relief from cervical facet joint pain. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia encourages you to schedule an appointment to find out if you can benefit from this procedure.