Facet Joint Injections
What it is
Facet joints are small joints at each segment of the spine that provide stability and help guide motion. The facet joints can become painful due to arthritis of the spine, a back injury or mechanical stress to the back. A cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back) or lumbar (lower back) facet joint injection involves injecting a steroid medication, which can anesthetize the facet joints and block the pain. The pain relief from a facet joint injection is intended to help a patient better tolerate a physical therapy routine to rehabilitate his or her injury or back condition.
Within several hours of the injection, most patients report pain relief. The most important aspect of this diagnostic procedure is for the patient to monitor and record pain levels for the first five hours afterword, while the pain impulse numbing medication is still in effect. The duration of the pain relief varies; the severity of the issue and the patients health are both factors.