Patients with increasing arthritis in the facet joints and patients with lower back pain can seek diagnosis and treatment with a facet/medial nerve branch block. With a facet block, a steroid injection is made into a joint in the spine that is experiencing pain. With such block, the injection is made outside the joint near the nerve. In both cases, the results of the treatment can vary. If pain returns, the length of time relief was experienced and how the pain returns can be used in diagnosis to tell the doctor more about how to proceed with further treatment. Blocks are treatments that can be repeated if benefits are derived.

A nerve root block is frequently a diagnostic tool to help the doctor diagnose back and neck pain. The injection of steroid and anesthetic can also have therapeutic benefits depending on the patient’s condition. In the procedure, an injection of anesthetic and steroid is made into the sheath around the nerve root in the spine to reduce inflammation. This injection will cause short-term relief from the pain and allow the doctor to specifically isolate the nature of the pain. Depending on the patient’s symptoms, the anti-inflammatory injection may treat the area and offer long-term relief.