Can You Drive After Facet Joint Injections?

If you've recently undergone a facet joint injection, you may be wondering if it's safe to drive afterwards. The answer is that you should not drive for at least 12 hours after the injection. It's common to experience mild pain at the injection site for 24 to 48 hours, so it's best to avoid driving on the day of the injection. If your doctor used sedation, you should not drive for at least 24 hours afterwards.

Facet joint blocks are typically ordered for patients who have pain in their back due to arthritic changes in the facet joints or mechanical low back pain. Injecting into the facet joint can reduce pain in the small joints located at the back of the spine, between each of the vertebrae. You're more likely to experience faster relief if the joints where the injection was given were the main source of pain. If the injection does not provide relief, it may be because it did not reach the source of the pain or because the pain is not caused by facet joints.

The procedure involves injecting medications close to the branches of the medial nerves, which supply sensory information to facet joints. A facet joint injection is a procedure in which analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications are injected into facet joints to reduce pain. 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. If successful, you should expect to experience pain relief for several months after a facet joint injection.

If the medication is injected directly into the joint, it is referred to as a facet intra-articular injection or simply an injection into the facet joint.

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