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The facet joints in the spine are often sources of pain when there is inflammation or degenerative disease. The medial nerves in the facet joints can signal pain when aggravated by inflammation or pressure. Identifying the exact location or source of pain can be difficult with imaging alone. A lumbar medial branch block injection can be used to determine the exact medial nerves that are causing low back or leg pain. DOCS Health offers lumbar medial branch block injections as a diagnostic tool at our medical center in Los Angeles.

There are many interventional treatments that can be used for pain management of spine conditions. However, the first step is determining which nerves are sending pain signals and the exact source of the pain. While imaging can show damage to vertebrae, spinal discs and facet joints, it cannot identify exactly which areas are signaling pain to the brain. Patients with lumbar spine pain and sciatica pain that radiates down through the legs can benefit from diagnostic injections to pinpoint the nerves causing pain.

Diagnosing Facet Joint Pain

A lumbar medial branch block can determine which nerves in the lumbar spine are causing pain. The injection uses an anesthetic that can numb the targeted nerves for a few hours, blocking any pain signals. The injection is carefully guided by imaging to the exact facet joint, delivering the numbing medication to the medial nerves. If the anesthetic relieves the low back or leg pain, it indicates the source of pain. While the anesthetic will wear off in a few hours and the pain will return, identifying the source of pain can help determine the best treatment plan. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may be recommended to stop pain signals for several months or longer.

Chronic back and sciatic pain can impact your quality of life. Lumbar medial branch block injections can be a useful procedure to determine the source of your pain. To learn more about this diagnostic injection and our other interventional pain treatments, contact us at DOCS Health in Beverly Hills, CA, to schedule your pain management consultation.