What are Medial Branch Blocks?

Medial branch blocks (MBBs) are a type of interventional therapy used to treat chronic pain in the back, neck, and other areas of the body. They target the medial branches of spinal nerves that transmit pain signals from the facet joints in the spine. These tiny nerves are responsible for sending information about movement and position to the brain, as well as any pain signals that may be present. By blocking the transmission of these pain signals, MBBs can provide significant relief for individuals dealing with chronic pain.

The primary therapeutic purpose of medial branch blocks is to alleviate chronic back pain and improve a patient’s quality of life. This treatment technique is often used in conjunction with other therapies, such as physical therapy or medication, to provide long-term pain relief. However, it’s important to note that MBBs serve a dual role in pain management. On the one hand, they can provide temporary pain relief, but their primary function is as a diagnostic tool to determine the source of your back pain and guide the next steps in your treatment plan. This diagnostic aspect of MBBs plays a crucial role in identifying the most effective course of treatment for each patient.

What to Expect from the Procedure

MBBs are typically performed as an outpatient procedure and only take about 30 minutes to complete. The patient is positioned on their stomach, and the skin in the targeted area is numbed with a local anesthetic. Using fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray), the medical practitioner then guides a thin needle to the affected nerve and injects a small amount of medication. Patients may experience some mild pressure or discomfort during the procedure, but it is usually well-tolerated.

After the procedure, patients should avoid strenuous activities for a day or two and may experience some mild soreness at the injection site. However, many individuals report feeling significant pain relief within hours of receiving an MBB.

Medial branch blocks are a valuable tool in the battle against chronic pain. By targeting the specific nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals, this therapy can provide long-term relief and improve a patient’s quality of life. If you are dealing with chronic back pain, consider discussing MBBs with your medical practitioner to see if this treatment option is right for you. At Commonwealth Spine and Pain Specialists, our team comprises Virginia’s most experienced interventional pain specialists.

We are dedicated to providing personalized and effective care for our patients, utilizing the latest advancements in technology and techniques. Our medial branch block treatment is a minimally invasive procedure that targets and blocks nerves responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. Don’t let chronic pain hold you back any longer. Contact Commonwealth Spine and Pain Specialists today to schedule your medial branch block treatment and start living a better quality of life!