How long should you rest after a facet joint injection?

You can resume all your normal daily activities 24 hours after the injection. It's OK to resume your exercise or physical therapy program as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. 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. If your facet joint injection is successful, you should expect to experience pain relief for several months.

Although pain relief with facet joint injection usually occurs within 3 to 5 days, some patients experience improvement before or after this time period. 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. 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. You're more likely to notice faster relief if the joints where the injection was given were the main source of pain.

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