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Medial Branch Block Specialist

Pacific Sports and Spine

Interventional Pain Specialists located in Eugene, OR

Finding the source of your pain condition is essential to get the right treatment. A medial branch block is a minimally invasive procedure that may help discover and relieve the cause of your back pain. Pacific Sports and Spine is the most comprehensive interventional pain management practice in Eugene, Oregon. The experienced team of physicians performs medial branch block injections to diagnose and treat back pain. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book online today.

Medial Branch Block Q & A

What are medial branch nerves?

Medial branch nerves are small nerves that exit your spine through the facet joints. 

Your cartilage-lined facet joints connect each of your vertebral bones. These moveable joints give you the ability to bend and twist your upper body. Over time, the cartilage that separates these joints wears down, resulting in pain. 

Your medial nerves carry pain messages from your facet joints to your brain. 

What is a medial branch block?

A medial branch block is a minimally invasive procedure that temporarily blocks the pain signal from the medial nerve to your brain. 

The pain management experts at Pacific Sports and Spine perform medial branch blocks to find and treat the source of your back pain. 

If your medial branch block is successful and the source of pain confirmed, your provider at Pacific Sports and Spine may recommend a radiofrequency rhizotomy for long-term pain relief. 

During a radiofrequency rhizotomy, your provider uses radiofrequency energy to ablate (destroy) the medial branch nerve causing your pain. 

Who benefits from a medial branch block?

You may benefit from a medial branch block if you have chronic back pain from arthritic changes in your facet joints or mechanical stress on the vertebral column.

The team at Pacific Sports and Spine won’t perform a medial branch block if you take blood-thinning medications, you have an active infection, or you’re allergic to any of the drugs administered during the procedure. 

What happens during a medial branch block?

A medial branch block is an outpatient procedure that takes 20-30 minutes. The Pacific Sports and Spine team performs the injection using fluoroscopy (X-ray) guidance to ensure accurate placement of the needle and medication. 

During the procedure, you lie on your stomach on an X-ray table. Your doctor cleanses the skin with an antibacterial agent and administers a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Your doctor then inserts a small needle into the medial branch nerve area, injects a contrast dye to confirm location, and slowly administers the medication (an anesthetic and steroid) over the nerves. 

After your medial branch block, your pain may go away within a few hours or a few days, or not at all. The Pacific Sports and Spine team determines the next step based on the pain relief you feel within 6-12 hours after your medial branch block.

Don’t let your chronic back pain keep you from living your life. Call Pacific Sports and Spine or book an appointment online today for help.