Facet joint injections are a minimally invasive procedure used to identify and temporarily relieve joint or nerve pain caused by inflammation of the facet joints. The beneficial effects of the steroid in the injection may take two to seven days to be effective, but you may start to notice an improvement in pain two to five days after the injection. Immediately after the injection, there will be some relief thanks to the local anesthetic used. If your symptoms don't change after a week, see your doctor to investigate other possible causes of your pain.The doctor will spend considerable time evaluating the patient's condition before administering an injection into the lumbar or cervical facet joint.
If an initial injection provided some degree of relief, a second injection could reinforce the pain-relieving effect (known as “build-up”). You can take your regular medications after the procedure, but try to limit pain medications for the first four to six hours after the procedure.Facet joint injections are a good way to strengthen your back muscles and determine if the injection was given into the correct facet joint. If it effectively blocked your pain, but only for a short time, your doctor may recommend additional injections. Facet joint pain can be caused by numerous factors, including arthritis, degenerative disc disease, falls, and car accidents.If you don't notice improvement within 10 days after the injection, it's unlikely to occur.
Usually, facet injections start to work in three or four days, although the steroid can take up to seven days to start working. If you experience chronic back or neck pain that has lasted more than six weeks and other interventions haven't helped, your doctor may suggest that you try facet joint injections to try to relieve the pain.