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Medial Branch Blocks

Medial branch blocks are a type of pain management injection that is used in order to target the medial branch nerves. Located between each vertebra in the spine, medial branch blocks supply the facet joints.

How it Works

Performing medial branch blocks takes approximately 15 minutes. X-ray imaging is used to guide the doctor to the accurate location. Small needles are placed along each nerve. The nerves are injected with a local anesthetic and a long-term steroid in order to reduce inflammation of the facet joints that are contributing to pain.

Usually, medial branch blocks are performed in one area of the spine—cervical, thoracic, or lumbar. They can be used as a diagnostic approach in order to determine that the facet joints are responsible for pain.

If medial branch blocks are effective, radiofrequency ablation may be considered as long-term pain relief.


Medial branch blocks may be performed to treat pain caused by:

  • Arthritis that contributes to neck and back pain
  • Inflamed facet joints


You will experience relief immediately from the local anesthetic in the injection. This will wear off after a few hours. The steroid will begin to work in the next day or two.

It is common to experience some temporary redness and pain at the site of the injection. Other side effects, like infection, are very rare. You will be able to resume your regular activities the following day.

Contact Allied Pain & Spine Institute today to schedule an appointment and get relief from pain that you deserve.

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