Medial Branch Blocks

What is the medial branch blocks?

Medial branch blocks (MBBs) are a minimally-invasive, non-surgical treatment that is used for arthritis-related neck and back pain. This pain management technique works by reducing the inflammation and irritation in the facet joints of the spine that is causing your pain. An exciting aspect of this pain relief modality is that, if it is successful, a more long-term treatment option called radiofrequency ablation of the medial branch can be employed.

Who is a good candidate for medial branch blocks?

MBBs are considered an appropriate and safe non-surgical treatment for patients who suffer from back and neck pain.


Medial branch blocks are often used to treat conditions that affect the facet joints or injured joints in the neck, upper back, and lower back pain.

How the medial branch blocks work

The facet is a joint that connects one vertebra (bone of the spine) to another. The needle is placed over the nerve that provides sensation to the facet joint. This nerve is the medial branch. The injection includes both a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic (such as lidocaine). The steroid reduces inflammation and irritation, and the anesthetic works to numb the pain. The entire procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.

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