Understanding Facet Joint Injections: A Comprehensive Guide

March 15, 2024

A close-up image of a spine with a needle injected into a facet joint.

Chronic pain can be debilitating and affect the everyday lives of those suffering from the condition. Luckily, there are treatments available to make chronic pain more bearable. Facet joint injections are a valuable treatment option for individuals experiencing chronic spinal pain. These injections deliver medication directly into the facet joints of the spine to alleviate discomfort and improve mobility. 

In this post, Southside Pain Specialists will delve into the world of facet joint injections, explaining what they are, their benefits, and when they are recommended. 

What are Facet Joints, and Why Do They Cause Pain?

Facet joints are small, paired joints located at the back of the spine, connecting the vertebrae. These joints play a crucial role in providing stability and facilitating movement in the spine. 

However, like any joint, they can become a source of pain and discomfort. The most common causes of facet joint pain are degeneration, arthritis, and injury. When the facet joints become inflamed or irritated, they can lead to localized pain in the neck and back or even radiating pain in the arms or legs.

When Are Facet Joint Injections Recommended?

Facet joint injections are primarily recommended for patients who experience chronic pain originating from the facet joints. If you have tried conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or chiropractic care without finding relief, facet joint injections may be the next step in your pain management journey. 

These injections are particularly effective for patients with conditions such as facet joint syndrome, spinal arthritis, or facet joint osteoarthritis. Your healthcare provider will assess your symptoms and conduct a thorough examination to determine if facet joint injections are appropriate for you.

Benefits of Facet Joint Injections

Facet joint injections offer several benefits for patients suffering from chronic pain. Firstly, they provide targeted treatment, delivering medication directly to the affected area. This localized approach ensures that the medication reaches the source of the pain, providing more effective and long-lasting relief. 

Additionally, facet joint injections can serve as both a diagnostic tool and a therapeutic intervention. By injecting a local anesthetic, healthcare providers can accurately determine if the facet joints are the source of your pain.

What to Expect During a Facet Joint Injection Procedure

When you arrive at Southside Pain Specialists for your facet joint injection procedure, our compassionate team will ensure that you feel at ease. You will be provided with detailed instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, including any necessary fasting requirements. 

It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best possible outcome. During the procedure, you may experience a mild pinch or pressure as the needle is inserted. However, the discomfort is generally minimal due to the use of local anesthesia. 

The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes, after which you will be monitored for a short period before being discharged. It is advisable to arrange for someone to drive you home, as you may experience temporary weakness or numbness in the treated area.

Recovery and Aftercare for Facet Joint Injections

After your facet joint injection, it is normal to experience some mild soreness or swelling at the injection site. This can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medications and ice packs. However, it is important to avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting for the first 24 to 48 hours following the procedure. 

Your healthcare provider will provide specific aftercare instructions tailored to your individual needs. In some cases, a series of facet joint injections may be recommended to achieve optimal pain relief. It is important to attend all follow-up appointments and communicate any concerns or changes in your symptoms to your healthcare provider.

Is a Facet Joint Injection Right For You?

Facet joint injections can provide lasting relief for patients suffering from chronic pain. By targeting the source of the pain, these injections offer an effective and minimally invasive treatment option. If you have been struggling with pain relief and conservative treatments have not provided the results you desire, it may be time to consider facet joint injections. 

Our team at Southside Pain Specialists is here to support you every step of the way. Book your consultation now and experience the transformative power of facet joint injections. Say goodbye to pain and hello to a life of comfort and mobility.

Experience Lasting Relief with Facet Joint Injections at Southside Pain Specialists – Book Your Consultation Now!

Discover lasting relief from chronic spinal pain with expert facet joint injections at Southside Pain Specialists. Our dedicated team in Birmingham, AL, is committed to providing personalized care to alleviate your discomfort and enhance your quality of life.

To schedule your appointment with Southside, fill out our online contact form or call us today at (205) 900-3927.