At the back of the body, the vertebrae are connected by the facet joint at each spinal segment and are innervated by nerves. These joints are synovial; they allow the twisting and bending of the spine in different directions, also will enable the movement of the neck.
WHAT IS FACET JOINTS PAIN ?
The degeneration, wear, and tear of the facet joint may lead to pain. The ageing, traumatic injury, conditions like spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerated disc may also contribute to cause the problem as facet joints help the spine and neck to move, so they are the most common reason for having pain related to the spine. Pain can be localized at the site of damage or may spread.
LOWER BACK PAIN DUE TO FACET JOINT DISEASE:
The lumbar, which is the lower back part of the spine, is the most vulnerable to injury as it bears a lot of stress. This is also called spondylitis or osteoarthritis. The wear and tear or degeneration of the joints lead to form an extra bony structure on the joint surface to help out the damage. This leads to stiffness with the pain. The lower back pain can spread to the hips, other parts of the back; it can even affect one or both legs. Pain can be acute or chronic.
NECK PAIN DUE TO FACET JOINT DISEASE:
The pain at the facet joints at the neck can spread towards the front and backside of the head and shoulders. Pain, stiffness, numbness, and, weakness in the buttocks, spasm are common symptoms.
WHAT IS FACET JOINT INJECTION ?
If you feel the pain consults an orthopaedic surgeon or pain management specialist for the proper diagnosis and treatment as well.
Facet joint injections or block is the pain management technique used to diagnose the affected face joint and to treat the pain. This technique works best for most of the patients, among other spine injection techniques. This injection is followed by a recommended physiotherapy to help repair the back.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE OF THE FACET JOINT INJECTION ?
The entire procedure completes within 15- 30 minutes typically and consists of the following process;
- The equipment includes a hollow needle depending upon the patient’s body size, a fluoroscopy unit of the X-ray tube and, a CT scanner.
- This process can be done without any sedation, but it can be used if needed.
- The x-ray or the CT will help the physician to insert the needle into the facet joint to be treated.
- Contrast material is injected to confirm the right position of the needle inside the joint.
- After the confirmation, a mixture having anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication is slowly injected. Then the needle is removed.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE FACET JOINT INJECTION ?
- This technique works best for most of the patients, among other spine injection techniques. This injection is followed by a recommended physiotherapy to help repair the back.
- If it works for you, it is safe that you can have this procedure three times per year.
- This uses X-ray as it is not dangerous in the range used for diagnostic.
- The radiation used in the examination by X-ray doesn’t remain in the body.
WHAT ARE THE AFTER EFFECTS OF THE INJECTION ?
- The pain may slightly increase as the medicine providing numbness wears off and until the cortisone starts to work.
- You might be feeling uncomfortable, so apply an ice pack to the area injection to feel better.
- You may feel warmth; the blood pressure increases, fluid retention rarely occurs.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IN THE WEEKS AFTER THE INJECTIONS ?
Wait till the pain reduces then do some simple activities like walk, light exercises it will help you to improve the muscle tone. Gradually increases the activities and analyze yourself if you feel pain contact your doctor.