doctor explaining with an anatomical spine to a woman in a clinic.What is it?

Dorsal medial branch blocks are minimally invasive injections that disrupt pain impulses from reaching the brain. These are considered diagnostic nerve blocks, as they can determine the source of pain. Some patients experience temporary pain relief while other times relief is more long-lasting. Medial branch nerves are located near facet joints and are responsible for small muscles in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar region. Therefore, medial branch blocks can diagnose or treat neck, mid back, and low back pain.

What to expect

When undergoing a dorsal medial branch block, the site is numbed with a local anesthetic before being injected with a long-lasting steroid and local anesthetic.  The steroid reduces inflammation and irritation while the anesthetic numbs the medial nerve branch.  Patients who experience temporary relief are candidates for longer-lasting radiofrequency ablation treatment.