What is a Diagnostic block?
Blocks involve the precise placement of local anesthetic or numbing medication in or near the presumed painful structure such as the zygapophyseal or facet joints or spinal nerve.
The patient’s pain is assessed both before and after the block and inferences can be made regarding the “pain generator” or exact structure causing the pain. Only when a definitive diagnosis of the pain generator is made can your physician make more appropriate recommendations for treatment of the painful condition and offer a prognosis for improvement.
As specialized physicians in the treatment of these painful disorders, we are highly skilled in the performance of these diagnostic blocks. If not performed in a precise and accurate manner, the diagnostic information becomes useless and subsequent treatments less likely to be effective.
The only way to determine if these joints are the cause of your pain is to numb or “block” the nerves-called the medial branches – that send pain signals from the joints. If the medial branch block (MBB) eliminates your pain, then the joint is determined to be the cause of your pain.
Read More About Diagnostic Branch Blocks
The sacroiliac joints are below the lumbar spine and connect the sacrum (tailbone) to the pelvis (hips). There are two sacroiliac joints, one on the each side. The sacroiliac (SI) joint can cause pain in the low back or buttocks. This is especially common in women, and often radiates into the leg, masquerading as sciatica.
Read More About Sacroiliac Joint Pain