At this point, the medical team will likely ask you to perform a few simple movements to check if you experienced any immediate pain relief. It's important to keep moving after the injection, as this will help increase blood flow and reduce stiffness. Walking is a great way to start, but you should also avoid lifting heavy objects for at least 24 hours after the procedure. If you experience any pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers and it's important to follow up with your doctor as scheduled.
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 and we encourage you to 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.
An injection into the facet joint is exactly what it sounds like: the doctor injects a medication to see if it helps relieve pain. If you experience any pain relief with the initial injection into the facet joint, your provider may suggest that you try repeating the injection to see if it is still useful. It involves injecting medications close to the branches of the medial nerves, which supply sensory information to facet joints. It's important to know what to expect after receiving facet joint injections so you can be prepared for the recovery process.
Facet joint blocks are generally ordered for patients who have pain primarily in the back as a result of arthritic changes in facet joints or for patients who have mechanical low back pain. 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. If the medication is injected directly into the joint, the procedure is called facet intra-articular injection or simply facet joint injection. 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 it is the source of pain.
A facet joint injection is a procedure in which analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications are injected into facet joints to reduce pain. If facet joint injections don't relieve pain, there are other strategies you and your doctor can explore to try to relieve it. While the primary function of facet joints is to support the spine and help it move, in some cases if there is an injury or problem with the joint or surrounding structure of muscles or ligaments they can become a source of pain. When facet joint injections don't relieve pain, your doctor will perform additional tests to see if they can identify the exact cause of your discomfort.
Your provider may also inject a steroid medication into the facet joint which can help reduce pain and swelling in and around it. An injection into the facet joint reduces pain in these small joints at the back of your spine between each vertebrae. 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 it. As explained by The North American Spine Society, if you experience any local or throbbing pain (such as in your legs), your doctor may suggest an injection into the facet joint as a way to diagnose it or see if your pain improves.