Cervical Medial Branch Block
Nerves are found exiting and surrounding the spine, sending pain and other communication to the brain. Around the cervical facet joints, there are medial branch nerves that communicate pain that occurs in the facet joints. If the medial branch nerves are numbed or disabled, it can stop the brain from experiencing pain. This procedure can be used to both diagnose and treat cervical facet pain. Our pain specialists at DOCS Health offer cervical medial branch block injections at our medical center in Los Angeles.
The facet joints in the cervical spine are very small, but they can cause significant pain when affected by arthritis or other damage. Facet joint pain can be felt localized in the neck, as well as radiating pain into the shoulder or arm. It can be very difficult to determine which facet joint is causing the pain – imaging is unreliable at determining which facet joints and nerves are creating the pain. Cervical medial branch block injections can offer an effective way to find the facet joint and nerves that are causing chronic neck pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Neck Pain
A cervical medial branch block injection is used to numb the medial branch nerves near the targeted facet joint. Anesthesia is injected into the space outside the facet joint to numb the nerves and block pain signals. If the injection stops the pain, this can indicate which facet joint is causing the pain. If the pain is still present, the medial branch block injection can be used on the nearby facet joints until the source of the pain is found.
The numbing agent used on the facet nerves is only temporary. However, medication can be used to provide longer pain relief. The injection is most useful for diagnosing which facet joint is causing pain, offering more options for treatments that can provide long-term pain relief.
If you have spondylosis or other facet joint pain problems in your neck, diagnosing the source is the first step in getting the treatment you need for relief. Contact us at DOCS Health to schedule a cervical spine consultation at our facility in Los Angeles.