Facet joints are small joints between each set of two vertebrae along the spine that provide stability and enable motion. They are also called zygapophysial joints, or Z-joints. Facet joint injections are minimally invasive pain-relief treatments for back pain.
Like other joints in the body, facet joints are susceptible to osteoarthritis, instability due to trauma, injury, degeneration, and fracture. These joints can become inflamed and enlarged, thereby causing back pain ranging from a dull ache to chronic pain.
One of the most effective treatments in alleviating back pain is through addressing the root cause through facet joint injections. Let’s take a look at this treatment, how it works, and how it might work for you.
How Can a Facet Joint Injection Help My Back Pain?
A facet joint injection is a relatively simple and straightforward procedure that can be performed in a doctor’s office. This is how it works:
- The skin over the facet joint is cleansed and numbed. An IV (intravenous) line may also be used at this early point if the patient needs sedation to relieve any anxiety.
- The doctor inserts the fluoroscope into the patient’s spine.
- The fluoroscope provides a video X-ray onto a monitor so the physician can pinpoint the injection and avoid harming nearby nerves. The doctor then inserts the tiny needle into the facet joint.
- A contrast dye is injected into the joint to ensure that the needle is in the precise spot.
- Once the needle is in the proper place, the anesthetic solution – such as lidocaine – plus an anti-inflammatory steroid or cortisone will be injected into the facet joint. This injection will take several minutes.
- You will be in the recovery room for about a half-hour.
- After recovering, the doctor will ask you to perform the movements that have given you back pain.
What Can I Expect?
The injection of the medication is intended to anesthetize and to relieve pain in the facet joints that are causing pain in your back. It is used to help with back pain anywhere in the spine, from sciatic nerve pain in the lower back to neck pain in the cervical spine.
Some of the side effects that can be caused by facet joint injections include hot flashes, dizziness, muscle soreness, and injection site pain. If the medicine does not relieve your pain, the doctor will conduct or order further tests to determine the underlying cause of the pain.
Back Pain Doctor Near You
If you have been experiencing severe or chronic pain in your back, see an experienced physician who can help you finally find relief. Having a facet joint injection may be the best treatment for you.
Here at Lynx Healthcare, we have been revolutionizing medical care by providing comprehensive and accessible healthcare for our patients. Our medical team’s goal is to change how patient care is delivered by administering individualized care from multiple providers in one place, so you can achieve the proper diagnosis and treatment that works in the most efficient way possible.
If you would like to find relief from your back pain, schedule an appointment by calling us today at (509) 591-0070 or fill out our appointment request form online now, and let us help you get back to your active lifestyle.