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Bothered by Back Pain? Consider Medial Branch Blocks

Bothered by Back Pain? Consider Medial Branch Blocks

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor. Most people will experience back pain at some point of their lives. In many cases, back pain is temporary and goes away on its own. 

For some people, however, back pain is ongoing, and when that’s the case, it’s time to seek medical evaluation. 

Our team at Lynx Healthcare understands the impact back pain can have on your life. From having to give up an active lifestyle, to dealing with pain doing everyday activities like lifting items, back pain can significantly interfere with day-to-day life. 

A medial branch block is a treatment that eases back pain caused by an irritated or damaged facet joint in your spine. If you have facet-joint related back pain, a medial branch block may bring you much-needed relief.

Facet joints and back pain

Learning about the anatomy of your spine can help you understand back pain and treatments like medial branch blocks. Facet joints are bony structures that connect the bones of your spine. There are two facet joints in each vertebral segment. They play a crucial role in controlling movement of the spine and providing stability for the vertebrae (bones) that make up your spine. 

Nerve roots pass through facet joints as they travel from the spinal cord to your arms, legs, and other parts of the body. Medial branch nerves travel on the outside of facet joints. These small nerves affect the facet joint itself and control some of the muscles in your neck and back. 

Many people with neck and back pain have facet joint problems, whether from injury or arthritis. Cartilage that protects the facet joint can break down, causing pain. 

How do medial branch blocks treat back pain?

Medial branch blocks work by preventing the medial branch nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. We use a local anesthetic to help diagnose the pain. If this injection relieves your back pain by at least 50%, then the facet joint is likely the source of the pain. 

To block the nerve signals, we insert a needle into the area where the affected nerves are located and deliver medication that destroys nerve tissue. The nerve tissue may eventually grow back, but medial branch blocks provide back pain relief that may last for up to two years. 

Help for chronic back pain

Medial branch blocks are a safe and effective treatment for back pain that lasts longer than steroid injections. The procedure is performed in the office and the effects are often felt immediately. With adequate pain relief, patients are able to resume their normal daily activities. 

If you’re dealing with back pain, rely on our team at Lynx Healthcare for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment so you get the relief you need. 

To learn more and get started, reach out to our Albuquerque office staff to schedule an appointment with one of our pain management specialists. Current and prospective patients can book a request online or use the button on the upper ride side of the page to send us a message via text. 

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