Medial Branch

Medial branch blocks and facet injections are common treatment options for clients of Progressive Pain & Interventional Psychiatry who experience neck and back pain. The injections are given in and around facet joints to reduce irritation and inflammation that can occur from arthritis pain.

Learn How A Medial Branch Block And Facet Joint Injections Deliver Steroid Medication Which Anesthetizes The Joints And Blocks The Pain.

Facet joints are located along your spine and connect one vertebra to the next. They help support the spine by allowing range of motion and providing stability. These small joints can become painful due to a back injury, arthritis of the spine, or mechanical stress to the back.

The injection for the facet block includes local anesthetic and steroid and is directed into a joint in the spine. A medial branch injection is an injection placed outside the joint where the medial branch nerve is located. Both types of injections usually result in increased mobility and function, a quick reduction in pain, and a reduction in the need for pain medication. If you’re seeking help with pain management, please contact Progressive Pain & Interventional Psychiatry’s office to schedule a comprehensive evaluation – (214) 826-8000.

Conditions Treated With Medial Branch Blocks Or Facet Injections

  • Lumbar degenerative disc disease
  • Axial back pain
  • Facet arthropathy (arthritis)
  • Cervical degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylosis
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Facet arthritis
  • Facet syndrome
Medial Branch Blocks

What Is Facet Joint Arthritis

Arthritis refers to painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), gout, and fibromyalgia. All of these types can cause pain in different ways. Most times, arthritis is the result of normal, age-related degeneration.

Like other joints in the body, facet joints are covered by cartilage that allows the bones to move next to each other smoothly and without friction. When these areas are inflamed, the cartilage wears down and causes pain. Arthritis of the facet joints can go by many names including facet joint arthrosis, facet joint arthropathy, spondylosis, and most commonly facet joint arthritis.

The Medial Branch Block Procedure

On top of providing pain relief, medial branch blocks are an amazing tool to determine if and how pain is minimized by blocking the signals.

How Medial Branch Blocks Work

The injection for the medial branch block interrupts the sensory nerve, the medial branch nerve that signals the facets joints. The combination of the anesthetic agent and the steroid interrupts the pain signal, reduces inflammation, and numbs the pain temporarily. The purpose of this procedure is to determine if the pain you are experiencing is caused by the medial branch nerve or the facet joint itself. If this procedure leads to a short-term relief in the pain of at least 70-80%*, you may be considered an ideal candidate for radiofrequency ablation to provide long-lasting relief of your back pain.

Conditions Treated With Epidural Injections

  • Stops the transmission of pain signals
  • X-ray guidance of the needle to the inflamed or irritated joints
  • Targets the medial branch nerves which supply the facet joints
  • A diagnostic tool that identifies patients who are candidates for radiofrequency ablation of the medial branch nerve
  • Injection along the nerve of a small amount of long-acting local anesthetic
  • Maximum pain relief lasts a few hours

The Facet Injection Procedure

The facet joints can become injured or wear down over time, become inflamed, and suffer from arthritis. This can lead to immobility and pain. Facet arthritis is degenerative arthritis which affects the facet joints of the spine. Facet joint injections are a minimally-invasive procedure offered by Progressive Pain & Interventional Psychiatry that are used as a treatment for axial back pain, facet arthritis, spondylosis, and a variety of joint, back and neck pain conditions.

What Is A Facet Joint

The facet joint of the spine is a movable connection that secures one vertebra to another. A small needle is inserted into the area of the facet joint and a long-lasting steroid as well as; an anesthetic medication, such as Bupivacaine or Lidocaine, is injected. The steroid helps to reduce pain, inflammation, and irritation and the anesthetic medication numbs the area for a period of time. The procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes and is performed under fluoroscopy – a live X-ray used for guiding the placement of the injection to the optimal location. The medications injected will spread to other portions of the spine, which will further reduce irritation and inflammation.


Typical Benefits Of Facet Injections

  • Facet injection (numbing the joint for pain relief)
  • Injection into the joint is a combination of long-lasting steroid and anesthetic medication
  • Targets facet joints, movable connection of vertebrae
  • X-ray guidance of the needle to the inflamed or irritated joints
  • Maximum pain relief can take a few days and lasts 9 months to 1.5 years
  • Out-patient procedure done in our office takes approximately 30 minutes

Medial Branch Block / Facet Injection Consultation With Integrated Pain Consultants

If you are suffering from acute or chronic pain and would like to learn more about medical branch blocks or injections, please contact Progressive Pain & Interventional Psychiatry and we’ll discuss the pain management treatment plan that is right for you.

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