In the days following a facet joint injection, it's important to stay active and keep moving. Walking is a great way to start, but you should avoid lifting heavy objects for at least 24 hours. As with any procedure, there is a risk of bleeding, infection, nerve injury, or allergic reaction to the medications used. You may also experience short-term side effects such as weakness or numbness if the local anesthetic extends to nearby nerves.
This can last for several hours and may require you to stay in the Pain Management Center until it is resolved. Immediately after the injection, you may feel increased pain for a few days, including localized pain at the site of the injection. This is due to the effect of the local anesthetic and usually only lasts 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. If the joints where the injection was given were the main source of pain, you are more likely to experience faster relief. 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.
This type of injection is usually ordered for patients who have pain mainly in the back as a result of arthritic changes in facet joints or for those 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. It's important to keep moving after your injection to increase blood flow and reduce stiffness. However, you should always consult with your doctor before engaging in any physical activity.