What Is A Facet Joint?
Facet joints are a pair of small joints on each side of the spinal column. These joints are meant to provide stability, limit end-range motion, and control movements along the spine. The facet joints can become painful due to various reasons like inflammatory conditions (arthritis)of the spine, mechanical stress, or back injury. Depending upon severity the pain can be debilitating restricting the movements. To relieve facet joint pain injectable pain-relieving medications are used that are directed into the affected facet joint.
What Is A Facet Joint Injection?
If the facet joint becomes painful then it needs a facet joint injection to relieve pain and to restore functioning. It is also used in conjunction with other non-surgical treatments like medications, rest, and physical therapy. A facet joint injection can be cervical, thoracic, or lumbar depending on the location of the affected facet joint. It involves injecting steroid medications and/or with a local anesthetic directly into the facet joint. The anesthetic from a facet joint injection works to reduce pain by numbing the area and the steroid works as an anti-inflammatory.
How does a Facet Joint Injection work?
Facet joint injection serves two purposes. In addition to relieving pain, it also helps to locate the exact location of a painful facet joint.
- Diagnostic Facet Joint Block Injections: injecting the local anesthetic can help to determine the location of the facet joint causing pain depending on whether the patient feels complete relief from pain when the joint is numb or not. If a patient feels complete relief from pain then that joint is diagnosed as the cause of the pain.
- Pain Relieving Facet Joint Injections: a facet joint injection is used for relieving both acute onsets of pain and for chronic (long-term) pain. The local anesthetic works to relieve acute pain while the steroid injected works as an anti-inflammatory that relieves chronic pain by resolving inflammation of the joint.
Is A Facet Joint Injection Right For You?
Depending on the severity of facet joint damage and the pain experienced by the patient doctors decide whether a patient undergoes facet joint injection or not. It is usually a safe, non-surgical pain-relieving treatment option for facet joint pains. Although the results may vary from patient to patient mostly it is an effective pain-relieving management option as compared to other available options. Your doctor will discuss in detail all the available treatment options and will let you know if facet injection is more preferable for your pain relief.
What Are The Results Of A Facet Joint Injection?
Facet joint injection is very effective in relieving pain caused due to damaged facet joints. The pain relief is immediate upon injecting a local anesthetic and if a steroid is also mixed it will relieve the pain in the long term. A facet joint injection also helps to numb the joint area to undergo physical therapy easily without feeling any pain which can fasten the recovery. However the effect of pain relief varies from patient to patient, but it is somehow enough to function properly and to restore your movements that are restricted due to painful facet joints.
Expert Facet Joint Block Treatment and Injections in OKC
For residents in OKC, OK Pain Doc provides patients with diagnosis and treatment for facet joint blocks with facet joint injections. Contact us to learn more today!
Call the offices of Dr. Darryl Robinson in OKC at 405-703-4950 to schedule your appointment today and learn more about facet block injections in OKC.