Medial Branch Blocks

A medial branch block is a type of spinal injection to temporarily block the pain signals coming from the medial nerves. Medial nerves run through the facet joints. Facet joints are joints in your spine that allow for movement between vertebrae.

If you are experiencing back pain, a medial branch block may be one of several tests your doctor recommends to locate the source of your pain. A steroid such as cortisone may be used in this injection to reduce inflammation.

A medial branch block can provide temporary pain relief but is mostly a tool to determine the source of your pain and the next steps in your treatment plan.

How is the procedure done?

  • Monitoring - Your vitals will be monitored to ensure there are no concerns your doctor should be aware of before the procedure.
  • Sedation – Most times, you will be given a sedative to calm anxiety and relax muscles.
  • Positioned face down or on your side
  • Local anesthesia administered - This usually causes the most discomfort during the procedure and is described as a mild stinging or burning sensation.
  • Injection is administered
  • Recovery


  • Back pain
  • Facet arthritis