Facet Joint Injections
The spine contains small joints between each vertebra that allow the spine to bend and move. These are called facet joints, which can be a source of pain and mobility issues within the spine. If there is inflammation in these joints from conditions such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease, it can result in localized pain and other symptoms. Facet joint injections containing medication can be used to relieve symptoms and for diagnostic purposes, which we offer at Allied Pain & Spine Institute in San Leandro, CA.
When the facet joints are impacted by inflammation, they may not perform as needed. Just like inflammation in knee, shoulder or elbow joints, these small spinal joints can become stiff and painful. Since there are facet joints every few inches within the spine, it can be difficult to know which joints are causing the pain and spine stiffness. Facet joint injections can help doctors pinpoint the joints affected and provide pain relief.
Facet Joint Pain Relief
Facet joint injections are usually a combination of corticosteroid and a local anesthetic such as lidocaine. The injections are used to reduce inflammation that causes nerve irritation and pain. Facet joint injections can also be used as a diagnostic tool to determine the exact facet joints that are causing neck or back pain.
To perform the facet joint injections, imaging is usually used that gives live video during the procedure. This ensures the needle is precisely placed within the desired joint in the spine while avoiding any damage to nerves and tissue surrounding the spine. The local anesthesia can provide almost immediate pain relief if the right facet joint is targeted. If there is still pain, different facet joints may be injected with anesthesia to find the source of neck or back pain. The steroid that is injected takes a few days to take effect and relieve inflammation in the targeted facet joints.
Facet joint injections are an effective pain relief and diagnostic tool we utilize at Allied Pain & Spine Institute. To learn more about our spinal injections and other pain management treatments, contact our medical center in San Leandro to schedule an appointment.