Medial Branch Blocks

Interventional Pain Medicine in Knoxville, TN
Medial Branch Blocks

Medial Branch Blocks services offered in Knoxville, TN

Consider a medial branch block if you experience chronic back pain. This outpatient procedure can identify the source of your discomfort and help guide treatment. At Pain Medicine of the South in Knoxville, Tennessee, the team of interventional pain management specialists regularly uses medial branch blocks to diagnose back pain and make treatment recommendations. To learn more about treatment with medial branch blocks, make an appointment by calling the office or booking online today.

What are medial branch blocks?

A medial branch block is a minimally invasive procedure used to locate the source of chronic back pain. Medial branch blocks can also provide temporary pain relief.

If you have chronic back pain, and it doesn’t improve with at-home treatment or activity modification, your Pain Medicine of the South provider might recommend a medial branch block to identify the underlying cause.

How do I prepare for a medial branch block?

A medial branch block is an outpatient procedure that takes 60-90 minutes.

Though it doesn’t require a general anesthetic, you need a friend or family member to pick you up after your procedure for safety reasons. 

To help find your source of pain, your provider might ask you to avoid taking pain medication before your visit.

What do medial branch blocks involve?

To begin, your Pain Medicine of the South provider administers a local anesthetic, helping relieve anxiety and calm your muscles. They then inject the medial branch block into your medial nerves. Once complete, you’re moved to a recovery room for observation.

After your injection, you may experience:

No change

If you continue to experience back pain, even after a medial branch block, it means the source of your pain is something other than a problem with your facet joints (the bones that connect your vertebrae to each other).

Temporary pain relief

Temporary pain relief means there’s probably a problem with one or more of your facet joints. Your provider uses that information to develop a custom treatment plan.

Pain relief that lasts several days

Several days of relief means you probably have a problem with one (or several) facet joints. Your provider uses that information to help guide future treatment.

Are medial branch blocks safe?

Medial branch blocks are safe and usually well-tolerated, but like any minimally invasive procedure, they can present risks, including:

  • Bleeding
  • Allergic reaction
  • Swelling
  • Bruising 
  • Nerve damage

You might also experience headaches or insomnia. These symptoms should subside within a day or two, but if they persist or worsen, contact Pain Medicine of the South right away.

To learn more about medial branch blocks, call today for an appointment or click the online booking feature.