07 Jul Medial Branch Nerve Blocks Treatment With Pain Doctors San Antonio
Medial branch nerve blocks
The medial branch nerves are located inside of your facet joints which are located in your spine. These are small nerves responsible for carrying pain signals from your facet joints to your brain.
What is the medial branch block?
This block is a medical injection used to help reduce pain. It is typically used as a two-step treatment process. The block itself is a procedure where local anesthetics and steroids are injected into the problem area to help stop the sending of the pain signals. Typically many levels of your spine will be injected in a single procedure. If you experienced immediate pain relief after the injection then your interventional pain management doctor in San Antonio can safely say that the facet joint was the source of your pain. This procedure is primarily meant as a diagnostic procedure. This means that if the patient has experienced chronic pain and the source is unknown doctors can use this block to see if the medial branch nerve is the cause of the pain. Should the patient experience pain relief they might be a candidate for a subsequent procedure which offers long-term pain relief in this area.
What is the role of the long-term pain relief?
In cases where the block confirms that your pain originates from your facet joint, long-term pain relief options should be considered including radiofrequency neurotomy. This procedure is an injection wary heat lesion is created on whichever nerves transmitting the pain signals to your brain. The purpose of this is to interrupt the pain signal while still preserving other functions such as normal muscle strength and sensation.
In some cases the block will be used after you have been treated with one or more facet joint injections by pain doctors in San Antonio. These injections use anti-inflammatory steroid solutions directly into your joint. If this injection confirms that your facet joint is the source of your pain but the injection, used in conjunction with medications and physical therapy, does not result in long-term relief, the medial branch block could be the next recommended step.
What can I expect during this process?
If you qualify for a medial branch block you will typically be positioned on your stomach so that the pain doctors San Antonio has adequate access to the problematic area in your back. The area will be cleaned with an antiseptic and a local anesthetic will be applied to numb the region. After this a large needle will be injected into the site by an interventional pain management doctor in San Antonio containing a local anesthetic and a steroid which helps to prolong the effects of the local anesthetic.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After your local anesthetic wears off you should experience media pain relief two or three days following your procedure.You may experience soreness at the incision site. So long as there were no complications you can typically return to work one day after and resume whatever normal activities you were able to physically tolerate. It is suggested that you have somebody drive you home especially if you were under sedation. Some patients prefer to use sedation in conjunction with local anesthetics to help alleviate any pain during the procedure and if you choose this you are required by most hospital policies to have somebody else drive you home.