Injuries can put you in pain, affect your normal activities, and limit your quality of life. If you’ve been injured at your Georgia Workplace, you may be wondering if a medical procedure, such as a medial branch block, is the right treatment for you. It’s important to understand what a medial branch block is, how it can help with your pain, and how this procedure may fit into your recovery plan.
Whether your injury is the result of an accident at work or wear and tear on your body, it’s important to make the connection with your employment history to ensure that your Georgia employer and their insurance provider offer you the benefits you deserve for your injury recovery.
While this can be a difficult process, one of our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group can assist you in overcoming these challenges and getting your care covered.
What is a Medial Branch Block?
A medial branch block (MBB) is a procedure used to diagnose and address persistent back pain. This procedure is typically performed in cases of chronic pain, but may also be recommended following a workplace injury that hasn’t healed properly. The procedure itself involves the injection of an anesthetic and/or steroid into the painful area of the spine that targets the medial nerves, which innervate the facet joints of your spine. Once injected, the numbing medicine aims to provide relief for facet joint-related pain in a selected spinal region.
Following the injection, you will be advised to monitor and record the pain in your spine to determine if the injection is reducing your back pain. While the anesthetic will wear off after several hours, many people report longer-lasting relief after the injection. In many cases, the injection will be performed twice, set a few weeks apart, to confirm the results of the test.
If this procedure is successful, it can confirm a facet joint as the main source of back pain. This means that if the injection temporarily stops back pain, permanent relief could be achieved with a treatment that targets the fact joint or its nerves. Medial branch blocks are usually done under ultrasound or x-ray guidance, and your appointment will take less than an hour to complete.
What Are Medial Branch Blocks Used For?
The main purpose of a medial branch block is to identify if the source of your back pain is directly related to the innervation of the facet joints in your spine. Because of this, there are several injuries and diagnoses that an individual may have before being recommended a medial branch block, often after many other treatment options have failed. By observing how your pain responds to a temporary injection treatment, your doctor can determine if you will benefit from a more invasive or permanent procedure to treat your back pain.
The most common procedure performed after a medial branch block is a radiofrequency ablation. In this procedure, targeted heat is used to destroy the nerve supply of the affected facet joint. The goal of a radiofrequency ablation is to provide long-term relief for facet joint-related pain.
Are Medial Branch Blocks Safe?
Although medial branch blocks are generally regarded as safe, it’s important to understand that any medical procedure involves some level of risk. The most common side effects of these injections are minor, such as soreness at the site of injection or heightened sensitivity around the area. If you are considering a medial branch block it’s important to talk to your doctor about potential complications, any medications you might be taking, and any allergies you may have in order to ensure your safety.
Medial branch blocks can provide quick relief when done correctly and by the right healthcare provider, and may even provide lasting pain relief. In some cases medial branch blocks may be used routinely for pain relief without performing subsequent procedures or surgery, allowing some individuals to manage their chronic pain more effectively.
Will I Need Other Treatments?
Treatments for back pain can vary greatly depending on the severity and cause of the pain. For some patients, a medial branch block and potential radiofrequency ablation is the best treatment option. However many patients will need other treatments alongside this procedure in order to get best results. Physical therapy can be an effective way to improve mobility, strength, and flexibility in your spine – all of which are important factors when managing back pain. In addition, medications such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants may be prescribed by your doctor to help you manage symptoms. It is important to listen to your body and report any changes or reactions during the treatment process so that your doctor can adapt accordingly and ensure a successful recovery.
A medial branch block is an effective procedure to help diagnose the cause of persistent back pain, and being properly informed about this procedure is an important part in making a full recovery. While it’s not guaranteed that a medial branch block will lead to full treatment of your back pain, medial branch blocks are generally safe and informative. Working with your healthcare provider to determine the best approach to treating your back pain is key to ensuring a successful outcome.
Getting important procedures such as a medial branch block covered by your Georgia employer may be difficult. To get compensated for important procedures and injury treatment, you need a legal team that understands your specific needs and situation.
Contact a Georgia Injury Lawyer
Gearhart Law Group represents victims of work-related injuries and assists them in receiving workers’ compensation benefits. We understand how your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance companies try to save money by either denying your claim or by underpaying your claim. We know how to fight any objections they may have and pursue all the Georgia workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call us now so we can evaluate your individual case and advise you of your next legal steps as well as ensuring you are receiving the best medical care for your injuries.