In the days following facet joint injections, it's important to keep moving after the injection. This will help increase blood flow and reduce stiffness. Walking is a great way to start. You should also avoid lifting heavy objects for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
Back pain may improve immediately after injection as a result of local anesthesia. It's important to keep track of how you're feeling for the rest of the day. We recommend that you move and do your usual activities, as long as they are not too strenuous. It's important to keep track of the amount of pain relief you receive, as well as the duration of pain relief.
We'll provide you with a phone number so you can call us the next day to let us know your progress. You may experience some local tenderness for a couple of days after the injection. Using an ice pack three or four times a day can help alleviate this. We would like you not to take pain medication on the day of the procedure so that you can see precisely how much of the pain is relieved by the procedure alone.
Your feedback on pain relief after the procedure will guide us as we decide on the next step in your treatment. What should I do after the procedure? Most patients are able to walk immediately after the procedure. You should take it easy for 24 to 36 hours after the injection to allow the steroid to take effect. Most patients can resume normal activities a few days after the injection.
Localized pain is usually relieved within 24 hours by using ice, reducing strenuous activities, and taking a mild pain reliever. You should not drive following this procedure. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home. Soon after the injection, you may notice that the pain may go away or decrease significantly.
This is due to the effect of the local anesthetic and lasts only a few hours. The pain may return and you may feel some pain at the injection site for about a day. You should start to notice pain relief about 1 to 2 days after the procedure. You're more likely to notice faster relief if the joints where the injection was given were the main source of pain.
The facet injection should NOT be done in people who have an infection, pregnant women, or people with bleeding problems or glaucoma. Facet joint blocks are usually ordered for patients who have pain mainly in the back as a result of arthritic changes in facet joints or for patients who have mechanical low back pain. If the injection into the facet joint is successful, you should expect to experience pain relief for several months. A lumbar facet joint block is an injection of local anesthetic (numbing medication) into one or more of the small joints located along each vertebra, on both sides of the spine, in the lower back.
Very small needles are placed inside the joint capsule and a small volume (usually about 1 ml) is placed in each joint.