What's a Facet Joint Injection and How Can It Provide Pain Relief?

in Pain Management Treatments / January 31st, 2017

Neck and back pain is unilaterally experienced among people of all types, and unfortunately, it is all too common. At The Spine & Sports Health Center, we provide a variety of neck and back pain treatment options, and procedures, at our offices in Hoboken, Bayonne, and Jersey City, NJ.

Patients come to The Spine & Sports Health Center to seek pain relief from our board-certified doctors and specialists, whether that pain relief be immediate, or long-term. One of the simplest, safest, and most effective non-surgical procedures that a patient can expect to find immediate relief from, is a facet joint injection, or a “facet block.”

What are facet joints?

Before we discuss what facet joint injections are, it’s important to understand the basic of the facet joints themselves, and their purpose. Facet joints are small joints in the spine that allow the back to be flexible, and give everyone the ability to bend and twist. A healthy facet joint has cartilage and is lubricated with fluid to prevent wear and tear, however, a facet joint can become damaged if a person injures his or her back, has arthritis in one’s spine, or experiences any other trauma. In fact, there are many reasons why one may have facet joint pain, and a doctor can help both discover what is causing the facet joint pain, as well as prevent the pain, with this procedure.

What are facet joint injections?

A facet joint injection typically has two goals: to diagnose facet joint pain, and to offer pain relief. The injection itself usually contains a mixture of an anti-inflammatory medication and an anesthetic, which together, help prevent pain sensations. Pain relief is usually immediate and lasts anywhere from several weeks to several months. Patients usually receive regular facet joint injections to help them on an on-going basis.

What should one expect if one chooses this procedure?

The patient will be instructed to position themselves in a way that gives the doctor easiest access to the pain point, and the injection site will be cleansed and numbed. Once numbed, the physician will use real-time X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) to guide the needle to the facet joint, and then inject a contrast dye to determine if it's in the proper place. After that, the patient will be administered with the injection.

The procedure can take anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes, and the patient may leave shortly after it's complete. The patient can expect to feel the effects of the procedure after a few days, although the pain relief is not a permanent solution. It is important that patients speak with their doctor about optimal options for pain relief on a long-term basis. Facet joint injections are commonly utilized because of their significant and immediate relief of pain, and most patients are satisfied with the results. It is a treatment option that leaves patients feeling instantly better.

To learn more about facet joint injections and find out if you could be a candidate for the injections, fill out a request a consultation form or give us a call at (201) 535-2474 today. If the facet joint injection is not the right procedure for you, our board-certified doctors and medical professionals will work with you to determine the proper course of treatment. We specialize in advanced therapies and procedures and offer everything from pain management solutions, to chiropractic care, to physical therapy, sports medicine, and acupuncture at our locations in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Bayonne, NJ.

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