It's common to experience mild pain at the injection site for 24 to 48 hours. Avoid heat in the injection area for 72 hours. This is a good way to strengthen your back muscles and determine if the injection was given into the correct facet joint. If cortisone is also injected into the joint at the same time, the pain may ease the pain for several weeks.
During an injection into the facet joint, medications that are usually injected include a local anesthetic and cortisone. The doctor recommends an injection into the facet joint to try to determine if the joints are the cause of back pain. Facet joint injections temporarily eliminate pain by filling the facet joint with an anesthetic medication that numbs the joint, ligaments, and the joint capsule surrounding the facet joint. Facet joint pain is experienced anywhere, from the neck and shoulders to the hips and upper thighs and sometimes in the legs.
Once the doctor is sure that it is the facet joint that is causing the pain, other procedures may be recommended to reduce pain over a longer period of time. If facet back joint movement is determined to be limited, encouraging more movement may help relieve pain. If the facet joint is injected and the pain goes away for several hours, this indicates to the doctor that it is very likely that the joint or its closely related tissues are causing the pain. Very small needles are placed inside the joint capsule and a small volume (usually about 1 ml) is placed in each joint.
If the injection into the facet joint is successful, you should expect to experience pain relief for several months. Facet joint injection is a minimally invasive treatment that relieves pain over a long period of time and helps the doctor identify the source of the pain. They all involve injecting an anesthetic and a long-lasting anti-inflammatory steroid into the facet joint. The joint capsule is made up of ligaments and connective tissues that help hold the joint together.
The facet joint injection is one of the safest spinal injections because the needle is usually not close to the spinal nerves. You're more likely to notice faster relief if the joints where the injection was given were the main source of pain.