Exploring Medial Branch Blocks: Unlocking Relief from Spinal Pain

Being independent and dealing with spinal pain does not go hand in hand. If you are attempting to manage chronic spinal pain, then you know exactly what we are talking about. You come face to face with numerous challenges: from limited mobility to needing assistance with even the simplest tasks, while constantly being on the lookout for the most effective ways to manage your discomfort. One approach to consider is the Medial Branch Block—a procedure designed to specifically target and relieve pain from the facet joints in the spine.


Medial Branch Nerves

Medial branch nerves are small nerves that carry pain signals from the facet joints in the spine. They don’t control muscles or sensations in the arms or legs. These nerves are located along the spine in the lower back, neck, and mid-back areas. Your doctor may have suggested a procedure involving these nerves because the facet joints could be causing your pain. Numbing these nerves with an anesthetic might help find out if a longer-lasting treatment could provide ongoing pain relief.


Prepping for the Procedure

Guidelines to follow before the injection takes place might include:

  • Allergies: Let us know of any allergies you may have (including iodine).
  • Fasting: If you are going to be sedated, do not eat on the morning of the procedure.
  • Insulin: If you are diabetic and on insulin, adjust your morning dose accordingly due to fasting.
  • Routine Medications: Continue taking regular medications (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc).
  • Pain Medications: Do not stop pain or anti-inflammatory medications on the day of the procedure.
  • Blood Thinners: Notify us if you’re on Coumadin or other blood thinners, so we can plan beforehand.
  • Transportation: Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.


Medial Branch Blocks North Texas

Now that you know more about medial branch blocks, let’s get into what to expect during a procedure at the Dallas Pain Institute:

  • Positioning: You’ll be placed on your stomach to enable the physician to see the areas where the medial branch nerves pass, using and x-ray.
  • Cleaning: The targeted area is cleaned with antibacterial soap.
  • Numbing: A small section of the skin is numbed with an anesthetic, and may cause a brief stinging.
  • Needle Placement: With the help of an x-ray, the doctor directs a thin needle close to the targeted nerve.
  • Anesthetic Injection: A small amount of numbing medicine (local anesthetic) is injected. This typically doesn’t provoke your usual pain.


Recovery & Aftercare

After the procedure, you’ll be taken to a recovery room where your neck or back movement will be checked. You’ll also be asked to describe how much pain relief you are experiencing. Some uncommon side effects may include temporary weakness or numbness in the arms, chest wall, or legs. Although you can return to your normal activities, it’s recommended that you avoid driving on the day of the procedure.


Chronic Pain Treatment in Sherman, TX

At the Dallas Pain Institute, we’re committed to providing personalized care and innovative solutions to help you reclaim your life from spinal pain, and a medial branch block can be an important part of your pain management plan. If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to contact us today to schedule a consultation. We have convenient pain clinics throughout North Dallas in Sherman, Rowlett, Greenville & Forney, TX.