Synergy Health Partners

What is a Cervical Medial Branch Block?

A Cervical Medial Branch Block (CMBB) is a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure designed to alleviate neck pain by targeting the medial branch nerves. These nerves transmit pain signals from the facet joints in the cervical spine. By injecting a local anesthetic near these nerves, CMBB can help determine if the facet joints are the source of pain and provide temporary relief.

Cervical Medial Branch Block

Why Might You Need a
Cervical Medial Branch Block?

Cervical Medial Branch Blocks are typically recommended for patients experiencing chronic neck pain that has not responded to other treatments. Conditions that may benefit from CMBB include:

  • Facet Joint Arthritis: Inflammation of the facet joints causing pain.
  • Cervical Spondylosis: Degenerative changes in the cervical spine.
  • Whiplash Injuries: Neck pain resulting from sudden movement or trauma.
  • Post-Surgical Neck Pain: Persistent pain after neck surgery.

What Are the Steps in an
Cervical Medial Branch Block Procedure?

Preoperative Preparation
  • Medical Evaluation: Comprehensive review of symptoms and medical history.
  • Medication Review: Patients may need to stop certain medications before the procedure.
  • Fasting: Instructions on fasting might be given if sedation is required.
During the Procedure
  1. Patient Positioning: The patient lies face down on an X-ray table.
  2. Local Anesthesia: The skin and tissue around the injection site are numbed.
  3. Needle Placement: Using fluoroscopic (X-ray) guidance, a needle is precisely placed near the medial branch nerves.
  4. Injection: A small amount of local anesthetic is injected to block the pain signals from the facet joints.
Postoperative Care
  • Observation: Patients are monitored briefly after the procedure.
  • Activity Restrictions: Limited physical activity for the rest of the day is recommended, with a gradual return to normal activities.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Postoperative Care
  • Pain Relief: Pain relief can be immediate but temporary, lasting from a few hours to a few days.
  • Pain Diary: Patients may be asked to keep a diary of their pain levels to help assess the effectiveness of the block.
  • Follow-Up: A follow-up appointment is scheduled to discuss the results and next steps, which may include additional diagnostic tests or therapeutic interventions.

Potential Complications

While Cervical Medial Branch Blocks are generally safe, potential complications can include:

  • Infection: Risk at the injection site, though very rare.
  • Bleeding: Minor bleeding at the injection site.
  • Allergic Reaction: Reaction to the anesthetic used.
  • Nerve Damage: Extremely rare but possible.

Benefits of Cervical Medial Branch Block in Pain Management

  • Pain Relief: Effective in reducing neck pain and improving function.
  • Diagnostic Value: Helps identify the source of pain, guiding further treatment.
  • Non-Surgical: Provides a minimally invasive option for pain management.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Enhances the ability to perform daily activities without pain.

Find a Pain Management Surgeon

Find a Location


For appointments contact
Scheduling: 855.750.5757

For billing questions
Billing: 586.439.6242

Fax: 734.542.0220


For appointments contact
Scheduling: 855.750.5757

For billing questions
Billing: 586.439.6242

Fax: 586.261.1961
Fax (Pain Management): 586.838.1603