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. If you're thinking about injecting facet joints, here's a brief summary of what you can expect during this quick and easy procedure. It also gives you time to strengthen the supporting tissues around your facet joints through specific exercises and physical therapy.
Facet joint injections, on the other hand, contain a combination of powerful anti-inflammatory and numbing or anesthetic medications. Although the main function of facet joints is to support the spine and help it move, in some cases, if there is an injury or problem in the joint or in the surrounding structure of muscles or ligaments, they can become a source of pain. 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. In some cases, medical imaging tests, such as MRIs or CT scans, may not detect inflammation or injury to the facet joint, so your doctor may suggest an injection to rule out that the facet joint is the source of pain.
If facet joint injections don't relieve pain, there are other strategies you and your doctor can explore to try to relieve pain. An injection into the facet joint is exactly what it sounds like: the doctor injects a medication to see if it helps relieve pain. Your provider may also inject a steroid medication into the facet joint, which can help reduce pain and swelling in and around the joint. 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.
As explained by the North American Spine Society, if you experience any local or throbbing pain (such as in the legs), your doctor may suggest an injection into the facet joint as a way to diagnose pain or see if your pain improves. A small spinal needle is placed inside the facet joint capsule and then radiographic contrast is injected to confirm the correct placement of the needle. Unfortunately, there is no cure for spinal osteoarthritis, but you can get help with facet joint injections and radiofrequency ablation.