How many times can you have facet joint injections?

This treatment does not provide permanent pain relief. Patients may receive one or two repeated injections over a period of six months. It is not recommended that a patient receive more than three injections in this time period. If your facet joint injections bring you significant relief, we can perform this procedure three times a year, if needed.

It's hard to say how long the results will last, as some patients only need one round of injections per year, while others benefit from two or three. 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. To guide the injection to the facet joint, the pain specialist will use fluoroscopic guidance (X-rays) during the injection. A facet joint injection is done to treat neck and back pain in combination with other non-surgical treatments for the spine, such as rest, medications, chiropractic manipulations, and physical therapy.

Facet joint injections contain anti-inflammatory steroids and often also a local anesthetic. Considering that doctors may recommend facet joint injections as often as three times a year, a positive result can be expected to last about four months. It also gives you time to strengthen the supporting tissues around your facet joints through specific exercises and physical therapy. The Spinal Diagnostics team knows when facet joint injections can help restore pain-free movement, and we've helped many patients regain their quality of life with this relatively simple treatment.

If you're thinking about injecting facet joints, here's a brief summary of what you can expect during this quick and easy procedure. If the effect of the first injection on the facet joint wears off after a reasonable amount of time, a second injection may be given to the facet joint. Like the knee or hip, facet joints have cartilage between the bones and a capsule filled with fluid to allow for smooth movement. They protrude from the vertebrae and meet the facet joints of the vertebra, either below or above them.

If this is the case, facet joint injections provide the first line of defense against this type of back and neck pain. As the pain decreases, you can add more strenuous activities to your routine to help strengthen the muscles surrounding your facet joints.

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