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Facet Injections for Herniated Discs & Nerve Pain

If you are experiencing nerve pain or herniated discs, you may find relief from facet injections. Facet joints are located between each vertebra of the neck and along your spine and are responsible for keeping your spine flexible and enabling it to bend and twist.

Facet joint injections can reduce the inflammation and irritation in your facet joints to relieve pain and increase mobility.

Our pain specialists at Impact Medical Sun City Center explain more.

What are Facet Joints?

Facet joints are the joints between the vertebrae in the spine. Nerves pass through the facet joints and travel from the spinal cord to the arms, legs, and other parts of the body.

Facet joints allow the spine to bend and twist, and they keep your back from slipping too far forward or twisting out of limits.

When the facet joints are damaged, they can cause debilitating pain in the neck or back. This is known as facet syndrome and can occur due to an injury, overuse, or an inflammatory condition.

What are Facet Joint Injections?

Facet joint injections are a minimally invasive procedure in which a physician uses CT imaging or fluoroscopy to guide the placement of an injection of medication into the facet joint to provide pain relief.

How Do Facet Joint Injections Work?

To guide the injection to the facet, joint our pain specialists will use X-ray or fluoroscopic guidance during the procedure. This allows us to see the joint and ensures that the needle is in place before injection of the cortisone mixture.

The facet joint injection itself should not cause any pain since the area will be numbed by local anesthesia. You will likely just feel some pressure around the injection site.

The procedure takes between 5-15 minutes, and thanks to the anesthetic used, the injection can provide immediate pain relief. Many people feel relief for months after receiving an injection.

What Conditions are Treated with Facet Joint Injections

Facet joint injections are typically performed to:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Provide long-term pain relief
  • Help patients tolerate physical therapy or other rehabilitative exercises
  • Help doctors determine the cause of back or neck pain

Conditions that can be improved with facet injections include:

  • Spinal arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated discs
  • General nerve pain

Possible Side Effects of Facet Joint Injections

There are potential risks and side effects associated with having a facet joint injection procedure, as there are with many medical procedures. These side effects are relatively rare, but it is important to be aware of them before going into your procedure.

  • Allergic reactions may cause itching, a drop in blood pressure, swelling, or wheezing
  • Infection at the injection site
  • Bleeding around or near the injection site
  • Discomfort at the point of the injection
  • Temporary increase in back pain
  • Nerve or spinal cord damage– these side effects are rare

If the area around the injection site is sore, you can try putting an ice pack on it for up to 20 minutes at a time to help with inflammation.

Recovery Timeline

You may experience some soreness around the site of the injection for a few days, so you will need to avoid strenuous activity and driving for the first 24 hours after the injection. You should be able to return to your regular activity within the next day.

Facet Joint Pain Relief

If you are suffering from herniated discs or back pain, you may want to consider consulting with a doctor at Impact Medical Sun City Center to see if facet joint injections might be right for you. You’d be surprised at how quickly these injections work to alleviate neck and back pain! 

Call our compassionate team for a consultation today at (813) 938-5195!