KureSmart Pain Management offers facet joint injections that will deliver pain relieving medication that are used as part of an interdisciplinary approach to pain management and therapy. Facet joints are the joints in your spine that allow your back to bend and twist. These small joints are present at each segment of the spine. The cartilage in these joints allows the vertebrae in your spine to move against each other smoothly. Providing stability and helping to guide movement, the facet joints can become damaged by arthritis, injury or stress to the back.
The damaged facet joints can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. This is known as facet joint syndrome or osteoarthritis. As the arthritis in the facet joints progresses, the cartilage (as well as the lubricating fluid called synovial fluid) will slowly wear away and become inflamed. Eventually, the cartilage will be totally destroyed leaving bone rubbing on bone that can lead to painful bone spurs.
Facet Joint Pain
Facet joint pain is often characterized by a dull ache across the back sometimes making it difficult to stand up straight from a seated position. You may not even know you have facet joint syndrome until an event triggers the symptoms. Difficulty bending the spine, especially backwards, or twisting sideways is a clear sign you are suffering from this joint degeneration especially if it causes pain at the facet joints. Standing for long periods of time or doing certain activities may trigger pain as well. If you are unable to turn your head or find yourself turning your entire body to look left or right, you may be suffering from facet joint syndrome in your neck (cervical spine). Facet joint pain can often be mistaken for a herniated disc. Changing your position such as leaning forward or sitting down may dull the pain.
Facet Joint Injections
KureSmart Pain Management offers patients with facet joint pain injections to the affected joints to relieve the pain. Known as facet joint injections, they deliver a dose of steroids and anesthesia to the joints. Because the facet joint injections actually block the pain, the procedure is sometimes called a facet block.
With the use of an anesthetic in the injection, we will be able to know for sure which joint is causing the pain because you will experience immediate pain relief. About thirty minutes after you are injected, the pain management doctor will ask you to stand up and attempt to provoke the pain. Your level of pain will further confirm whether we have located the correct joint that is causing the pain and also help the doctor determine if you need further intervention such as physical therapy, rhizotomy, or chiropractic care.
The steroid is useful to ease the arthritis in the joint. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory medicine that will help to reduce swelling. It is impossible to know how long the effects of the injections will last. If it is successful at reducing your pain, this may last for several weeks or even several months. We will schedule a follow up to check on your progress and encourage you to track your pain level.
To learn more about the Facet Joint Injections procedure click here.