If you have chronic pain along your spine, inflammation may be affecting the medial nerves. The chronic pain can be treated with a medial branch block. At Central Florida Pain Management, we offer medial branch block procedures for residents of central Florida, including the cities of Ocala and The Villages.
What is a Medial Branch Block?
A medial branch block is a non-surgical procedure that administers medication to the medial branch nerves of the spine to help with chronic back pain and limited mobility. The medial branch nerves wrap around the facet joints of the spine, and inflammation around the nerves may produce pain when you bend over or twist your body.
What Are the Benefits of a Medial Branch Block?
The medial branch is comprised of tiny nerves that carry signals from the facet joints of the spine to the brain. Inflammation around these nerves may produce pain in the upper, middle, or lower back. The pain typically worsens when you bend over or twist your body. Chronic medial branch pain is defined as discomfort that lasts six weeks or longer. A medial branch block reduces the inflammation so you can relax as your body heals.
Are There Any Known Medial Branch Block Side Effects?
In rare cases, patients experience medial branch block side effects, such as:
- No change to symptoms
- Worsening of the discomfort
- Allergic reaction to the medication
How is a Medial Branch Block Performed?
A medial branch block procedure is minimally invasive and does not require incisions or general anesthesia. We may give you a sedative to keep you relaxed during the procedure. A local anesthesia is administered to numb the area where the injection is made. Fluoroscopy is used to guide the needle to the affected nerve group. The medication is slowly administered, and you may feel a slight pressure and stinging.
What is the Medial Branch Block Recovery Time?
No recovery is needed after a medial branch block. You will remain at our office for approximately 30 minutes for monitoring, and then someone will need to drive you home. The medication may take two to three days to start reducing the inflammation, and the full results can take two to three weeks.
What is the Prognosis After a Medial Branch Block?
A medial branch may be recommended as a diagnostic or therapeutic option for your chronic back pain. If your symptoms do not return, you will not need additional treatments. If the pain does return, we may recommend a second round of injections or other procedure to alleviate your discomfort.
Central Florida Pain Management offers medial branch block procedures for residents of Ocala, The Villages, and surrounding cities in central Florida. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Melissa Alvarez-Perez, M.D.