All about Facet Joint Injections
The facet joint is a small joint found at each segment of the spine. The purpose of these facet joints is to provide stability and help your spine move. However, you can experience pain in your facet joints due to conditions like arthritis or back injuries. When joint pain occurs, facet joint injections can help serve as a therapeutic option capable of providing pain relief.
If you are experiencing back pain, neck pain, or other pain in a joint, the team members at OrthoBethesda offer diagnostic services and facet joint injections to our Bethesda, Maryland patients as a non-surgical treatment to help block spinal pain. The injection procedure can be used in conjunction with physical therapy and sometimes other medication to allow us to help rehabilitate your back after you develop a debilitating condition or injury. Read on to find out if these spinal injections could be the right method of care for you to obtain relief for your back pain or neck pain.
What is a Facet Joint Injection?
A facet joint injection is a pain treatment performed by making spinal injections of medications into joints in three separate areas of the spine, depending on where your pain is located: the cervical, thoracic or lumbar regions. By injecting a medication that contains a local anesthetic and a steroid, we can anesthetize the facet joints and effectively block pain you may experience in your back.
If your doctor recommends facet joint injections, they likely do so with two goals in mind:
- Facet joint injection for pain diagnosis: Once the numbing medication is injected into the facet joint, the pain relief experienced helps your doctor determine if it’s indeed the facet joint acting as the source of your pain. Complete pain relief means that the facet joint is the likely culprit.
- Facet joint injections for pain relief:Facet joint injections provide time-release steroid medications that reduce inflammation. Some patients experience pain relief that lasts for a longer amount of time.
What Happens During Facet Joint Injections for Back Pain Relief
If your OrthoBethesda physician recommends facet joint injections to treat your spinal pain, you can be confident that they’ll walk you through the procedure to ensure you fully understand and be prepared for what will happen ahead of time. Facet joint injections and the steps in the preparation process before the procedures are fairly straightforward.
- A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin and tissue above the facet joint in preparation for the facet joint injection.
- Your physician will use an X-ray device called a fluoroscope to guide the needle into the correct position and location within the facet joint – this is minimally invasive.
- The treatment team will then inject a contrast dye that confirms the needle’s correct placement.
- Once the needle is confirmed to be in the proper place, your doctor will inject a mixture of anti-inflammatory steroid medication and anesthetic.
- More than one facet joint may be treated during the procedure.
- If your pain begins to subside, it could mean that the facet joint was the cause of your back pain.
After Facet Joint Injection Procedures
After the procedure is complete, your back or neck pain may often immediately and totally subside because of the administered anesthetic. However, as it wears off, you may find that your painful symptoms return. That’s normal, so don’t worry. Within a few days after your injection, the injected steroidal medication should begin to take effect, which will reduce both inflammation and pain.
After facet joint injections, some patients experience pain relief ranging from several days to several months. You can receive up to three injections per year.
Testimonials for Dr. Joseph R. O’Brien, OrthoBethesda Spine Specialist
I have been a patient of Dr. O’Brien for several years. I was very impressed with his kindness and patience. What truly told me he was the right one, is when he gave me his email address and told me if I had any questions to please email him. After we scheduled my back surgery, I was scared. I sent Dr. O’Brien an email, stressing my anxiety level and my fear. I received an email back telling me he definitely understood, and assuring me everything was going to be okay and he would be with me every step of the way. He takes his time in explaining things to you…. And, always walk in the room with a smile and a sweet greeting. I thank God my rheumatologist sent me to him, and I put my fear aside and saw him. In my opinion he as well as his office staff at Virginia hospital center gets a 10 from me. Thank you Dr.O’Brien – M.H.
Schedule an Appointment to talk to a Doctor about Spinal Injections and Other Options at OrthoBethesda Today
If you have suffered a spinal injury, it is in your best interest to seek medical care immediately. The experienced and compassionate team at OrthoBethesda can evaluate your situation, provide a diagnosis, and treat your symptoms accordingly. Whether you are dealing with back pain, joint pain, neck pain, spine pain, or other orthopedic pain; we can provide you with anti-inflammatory treatments, medications, or even surgery to resolve the pain. Physical therapy is always an option prior to surgery and will absolutely be needed following the surgery. Call OrthoBethesda today at (301) 530-1010 to schedule an appointment. An injury to the spine should never be ignored. The longer it is, the more difficult it can be to find comfort siting, standing, walking, or lying down. Our patients’ health is our top concern and we are taking precautions to protect against the spread of Covid 19. In-person or virtual appointments are available and all employees, patients, and visitors must wear a face covering and have their temperature recorded prior to entering our facility.
Learn More About Facet Joint Injections at OrthoBethesda
If you’re experiencing severe back or neck pain, you could have spine arthritis affecting your facet joints. We invite Bethesda, Maryland patients to contact OrthoBethesda today. Our highly skilled team will work out a treatment plan with you that could include facet joint injections. Call us at (301) 530-1010 to schedule your appointment.