Northern California Spine Institute Blog
What is a medial branch block?
The medial branch block is an injection of local anesthetic (and sometimes steroids) placed outside the joint space adjacent to the nerve that is supplying the joint. This nerve is called the medial branch. The role of a medial branch block is both diagnostic and therapeutic. Multiple injections may be required depending on the number of joints involved. Both facet and medial branch blocks may be performed for patients who are experience back pain due to lower back pain or arthritis in the joints.
What happens when you get a medial branch block?
When you get a medial branch block there are three things that may occur.
- The pain stops and generally stays at a lesser level in the days that follow.
- The pain stops for a few hours but then comes back at the same level and does not improve. In this scenario we can then at least deduce that the pain is likely in the joints.
- The pain doesn’t stop, at which point we can then deduce the pain is not derived from the joints.
To learn more about the Northern California medial branch block and find out if it may be right for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation with Dr. Krull today.
Posted in General on March 22nd, 2018
The sacroiliac join is a joint that exists in the bony pelvis between the ilium of the pelvis and the sacrum, which supports the spin. The purpose of the Sacroiliac Joint Injection (SI) is to diagnose the source of the pain and/or provide relief from the lower back pain and/or sciatica symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Performed under a local anesthetic and steroid medication, temporary pain relief may exist for several hours after the injection.
The Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection is just one of several non-surgical procedures we offer at Northern California Spine Institute. If you are interested in learning more about the Sacroiliac Joint Injection, and to find out if it may be right for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation today.
Posted in General on February 14th, 2018
When a spinal fracture occurs a Kyphoplasty procedure is performed to stop the pain, restore as much of the vertebral and stabilize the bone. A type of vertebral augmentation for compression fractures, Kyphoplasty Northern California is achieved through a small incision in the back through which a narrow tube is placed. Next, a fluoroscopy guides the tube to the fractured area of the back and the doctor uses X-ray imaging to place a balloon through the tube and inflates it gently in the vertebrae. The inflation of the balloon causes elevation of the fracture getting it back to the more normal positioning. Finally, the balloon is removed and a cement-like material (PMMA) is placed to stabilize the bone.
The Kyphoplasty procedure typically takes about an hour for every vertebra and patients are kept for observation in a recovery room following the procedure with some patients possibly spending the following day in the hospital as well. Transportation following the procedure must be pre-arranged as patients will not be able to drive themselves. To learn more about this and other back procedures we offer, contact our office today.
Posted in General on January 17th, 2018
Spinal Fracture Pain can be devastating, but Kyphoplasty can help stop the pain and stabilize the bone. Kyphoplasty is a type of vertebral augmentation used for compression fractures and it achieved through the use of a small incision in the back through which a narrow tube in inserted. Next, a fluoroscopy guides the tube to the fractured area and X-ray imaging is used to place a balloon through the tube and inflate it directly, and gently into the vertebrae. What the inflection of the balloon does is cases an election of the fracture to position it more normally and comfortably. Lastly, the balloon is taken out and a cement-like material known as PMMA is used to stabilize the bone.
This procedure to aid Spinal Fracture Pain typically takes around an hour for each vertebra and then the patients are usually kept in an observation room while they recover. Some patients may need to spend the following day in the hospital too. Transportation after the procedure will be pre-arranged as patients are unable to drive themselves home. To learn more about this procedure and recovery process, and to find out if it may be right for you, contact our office today.
Posted in General on October 26th, 2017
Acupuncture can be a very beneficial treatment to promote the body’s natural healing and improve function. Acupuncture is performed through the use of needles into very precise points of the body. The acupuncture points stimulate the nervous system to release chemicals in the spinal cord, muscles, and brain that can change the way you are experiencing pain and help the body’s internal regulating system. Many people, both men and women, seek out acupuncture for its ability to stimulate their body’s own natural healing abilities and to feel better both physically and emotionally.
Acupuncture is being used to treat various medical conditions, prevent illness and promote well-being. While some insurance companies recognize the value of acupuncture and over the costs, others do not yet. To learn more about acupuncture and to find out if it may be right for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation today.
Posted in General on September 27th, 2017
Posted in General on August 31st, 2017
Physical Spin Therapy has helped many people improve the condition and alleviate pain. Dr. Meneken has over 30 years of experience and specializes in spine rehabilitation in our on-site physical therapy center. In addition to providing therapy, Dr. Meneken makes it his mission to educate his patients in order to prevent future injury as well. Physical therapy begins with a thorough evaluation in order to fully asses the patient’s condition, strength, flexibility and endurance. Next, Dr. Meneken works with the patient to create a customized treatment plan to achieve their goals.
The physical therapy treatments vary depending on the needs of each patient but may include hot packs, cold packs, electrical stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, traction, exercise, and hands-on treatments. If you are interested in learning more about the Physical Spine Therapy treatments we offer, contact our office to see if we may be able to help you live a more comfortable life.
Posted in General on August 21st, 2017
Acupuncture can help promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself and improve function. Performed by inserting needles and sometimes applying heat or electrical stimulation, Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. The chemicals released can either trigger the release of chemicals and hormones that can influence the body’s regulation system, or can change the experience of pain within the body.
Both physical and emotional well-being can be promoted through Acupuncture. If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture can be used to prevent illness, treat various medical conditions, and promote health and well-being, contact our office to schedule your consultation today
Posted in General on July 24th, 2017
A sedentary lifestyle is easier to find yourself in than you may think. Working a 9-5 desk job means many are spending the majority of their 40 hour work week sitting. Poor posture and ergonomics, incorrect lifting of heavy objects and even wearing unsupportive shoes all can contribute to your future back pain. For desk workers it is more important than ever to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your body aligned and healthy to prevent serious injuries and strains in the years ahead.
Walking on your lunch break, doing yoga and pilates to help improve core strength and posture, sitting in a chair (or ball!) designed instruct and support your body’s best alignment, wearing supportive shoes and getting massages are all positive preventative measures which can be taken to help keep your desk job and your back on the right track.
For further reading, check out this article: Sitting too long causes aches and reduces work productivity.
Posted in Prevention on January 6th, 2015
When you are dealing with a spinal injury or debilitating disease that effects the spine you want to make sure you are surrounded by a team of trained and experienced spinal experts who can help you manage your pain or treat the condition. Here at the Northern California Spine Institute we do just that from the latest in spinal treatments to revision surgery, reconstructive surgery to electrodiagnostic studies and therapeutic spine injections, we’ve got you and your back covered. Our goals is to provide the highest quality of care to each of our patients and we do this by having a team of specifically trained professionals who can hone in on each of our patients specific needs.
Whether your spinal issues are cervical, thoracic or lumbar related or if you are simply dealing with undiagnosed pain in your neck and back or weakness in your limbs, we are here to help. If you are tired of feeling out of whack and want to start feeling better in your body again, contact our office and schedule your consultation.
Posted in Spin Specialists on November 11th, 2014