Medial branch blocks and facet injections are common treatment options for clients who experience back and neck pain. These injections are administered in and around facet joints to reduce inflammation and irritation from arthritis pain. Medial branch blocks and facet joint injections are one of the many treatments used by us to provide relief for our patients.
Learn how a medial branch block and facet joint injections deliver steroid medication which anesthetizes the joints and blocks the pain.
The facet joints are located along your spine and connect each vertebra to the next. These joints help support the spine by providing stability and range of motion. They can become painful due to arthritis of the spine, a back injury, or mechanical stress to the back.
The injection for the facet block includes local anesthetic and steroid, it is then 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 of these injections typically result in a quick reduction in pain, increase in function and mobility, and reducing the need for pain medication. If you’re seeking help for pain management, please contact our office at 929-363-0303 or book your appointment online today.
What Is Facet Joint Arthritis
Arthritis is classified as painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), fibromyalgia, and gout. Each type causes pain in a different way. Typically 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 without friction. When these areas are inflamed, the cartilage wears down which causes pain. When talking about arthritis of the facet joints, you should be aware that this term can go by other names including facet joint arthritis, facet joint arthropathy, spondylosis, and most commonly facet joint arthritis.
The Medial Branch Block Procedure
Additionally, in providing pain relief medial branch blocks are a fantastic diagnostic 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, which 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 method leads to a short-term relief in the pain of at least 70-80%*, one might be considered an ideal candidate for radiofrequency ablation to provide long-lasting relief of your back pain.
Typical Benefits Of Medial Branch Blocks
- Stops the transmission of pain signals.
- Targets the medial branch nerves which supply the facet joints.
- Injection along the nerve of a small amount of long-acting local anesthetic.
- X-ray guidance of the needle to the inflamed or irritated joints.
- Outpatient procedure performed in the office and only takes a few minutes.
- A diagnostic tool that identifies patients who are candidates for radiofrequency ablation of the medial branch nerve.
The Facet Injection Procedure
Facet joints can wear down or become injured, inflamed, degraded, and suffer from arthritis. This can lead to pain and immobility. Facet arthritis is degenerative arthritis which affects the facet joints of the spine. Facet joint injections are a minimally-invasive procedure offered by (insert name here) that are used as treatment for facet arthritis, axial back pain, spondylosis, and a variety of back, neck, and joint pain conditions.
What Is A Facet Joint
The facet joint of the spine is a movable connection that connects one vertebra to another. We insert a small needle into the area of the facet joint and a long-lasting steroid along with anesthetic medication, such as Bupivacaine or Lidocaine. The steroid helps to reduce inflammation, pain, and irritation. The anesthetic medication numbs the area for a period of time. The entire procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes and is performed under fluoroscopy which is a live X-ray used for guiding the placement of the injection into the target location. The medications injected will spread out to other portions of the spine which further reduce inflammation and irritation.
If you are suffering from chronic or acute pain and need an injection or another block, please contact us at 929-363-0303 or book your appointment online and let’s talk about a pain management treatment plan that is right for you.