Everything You Need to Know About Spine Facet Injections
Injections are a great way to relieve pain, especially if you have joint pain. They’re also a great alternative to taking pills, which can have adverse side effects and addiction. These treatments let you get rid of your pain in the short term, help ease long-term inflammation, and encourage healing. Depending on the cause of your pain, you can use different pain injections: arnica for bruises, osteopathic for stress fractures, and trigger point injections for local areas of tension and tightness. Spine facet procedures are a newer pain relief method that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Here is a complete guide to spine facet injections.
1. What are Spine Facet Injections?
These injections are nerve blocks placed in your spine’s facet joints. The facet joints are the bony areas where the vertebrae come together at the base of your neck. They are also known as the spina bifida joints or zygapophysial joints. Facet joints are a significant cause of neck pain and, in some cases, back pain. This procedure helps block pain by numbing the nerves that transmit pain to the brain. They contain a local anesthetic that blocks pain signals from reaching the brain and are administered in several different ways.
2. Which Doctors Do Facet Joint Injections?
Chiropractors or physical therapists do the majority of facet joint procedures. Certain orthopedic surgeons will inject the facet joints to relieve pain caused by a herniated disc, pinched nerves, or arthritis. The doctors are trained in the technique and are experts in their field of medicine. A board-certified physical medicine and rehab/interventional pain management physician is the best choice. They will decide if you have any medical conditions that may make it dangerous to have the procedure done. If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, or liver disease, the situation must be evaluated individually by your doctor.
3. How Do you Get a Facet Joint Injection?
A doctor will examine your spine and determine which joints need treatment for your specific condition and how many sites you need to be injected. After that, you’ll be asked to lie down on an exam table with your head stabilized with pillows so that the doctor can administer the injection. The injection site is usually at the spine’s midline between the neck vertebrae at one or two spots, depending on the treated condition. It can be done with a few different techniques. These include local anesthetics such as Lidocaine or Xylocaine, steroids such as prednisone, or hyaluronic acid. The procedure for a spine facet injection is relatively painless. Your doctor will insert the needle through your skin to the muscle or nerves, causing pain. Your doctor will inject the numbing agent and the medication to help you recover from your pain. A spine facet injection takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete. You may not have any pain after the procedure, but you may feel discomfort in the injected area. You should also not be able to feel the needle after the procedure.
4. How Do I Prepare
It would be best if you did not eat or drink anything after noon the day before your spine facet injection. You should also not take any over-the-counter medications on the day of your injection. You should also avoid drinking alcohol, which can make you feel drowsy and affect your ability to relax during the procedure. Before your procedure, you should sit in a comfortable position and avoid any strenuous activity. You should also wear loose clothing to help keep you comfortable. The staff at the office will help you get undressed if needed so that you can be comfortable during the procedure.
5. Why Should I Get a Spine Facet Injection?
They are a great way to treat pain and inflammation in the spine. If you suffer from chronic pain, you should consider this procedure. Spine facet injections are great for relieving pain in the back, hips, shoulders, neck, and knees. If you have arthritis or osteoarthritis, this treatment may help reduce inflammation and pain in your joints. The procedure is simple and can be done at home with minimal discomfort. Some people who get spine facet treatments experience instant relief from their pain and reduced inflammation.
6. What To do After Your Treatment
The procedure is done with a local anesthetic. After the injection, you will be asked to lay on your back for a few minutes before getting up and moving around. You can go back to sleeping as soon as possible afterward. It is best to take it easy for the rest of the day and not do strenuous activities. The next day, you will likely have some numbness in the area. This is normal and should go away in a few days. You can also repeat the procedure if you are not fully satisfied with the results.
7. How Long Does It Take To Recover
It depends on the type of injection you have. The injection is administered with a local anesthetic or steroids usually takes about ten days to heal. A Hyaluronic acid injection takes three to four weeks to heal. If you have one or two sites injected with steroids, it will likely be a few days before you feel any relief from the pain. But once the treatment is over, you should feel better in about a week. If multiple sites were injected, your pain level might take several months to return to normal.
Pain medication and surgery are not the only methods of treating back pain. Facet joint injections can be an effective way to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. If you are considering this treatment, do plenty of research before getting the procedure. Dr. Ilana Etelzon is a board-certified pain management doctor who provides facet joint injections and other pain management procedures in Brooklyn, New York City. If you are looking for an experienced doctor, consider visiting her.