Also known as Medial Branch Blocks, these procedures are for diagnostic purposes only. They are not meant to last for more than a few hours. The purpose for these injections is to help the doctor identify exactly which nerve or nerves are causing the pain.
A series of nerve blocks is usually done before we move on to radiofrequency treatments to assure that the correct nerve has been pinpointed.
Nerve blocks will not “cure” a patient’s pain for more than a day. However, if the diagnostic nerve blocks are successful then radiofrequency treatments typically provide long-term pain relief, lasting anywhere from 10-18 months.
The first hour following the procedure is the most critical for evaluating the results of the procedure.
We will be looking for the following:
- Did you get pain relief on the side and area where the procedure was done?
- How much pain relief? (50%, 80%, 100% etc- in the area and side that was injected.)
- When did the pain relief wear off (hours, days, etc.)?
The medication used in the injection generally lasts only a few hours. If you take a pain medication on a regular basis, you may take your regular pain medication after you have evaluated your response to the procedure.
If you experience any symptoms of concern or unusual reactions, such as:
• Fever • Swelling • Redness • Drainage • Skin discoloration
call the office to schedule an appointment. If the concern is an emergency, please immediately go to the nearest Emergency Room.