Facet Joint Injections

When facet joints in the body become swollen it can cause severe pain. Facet Joint Injections are a minimally invasive option that can help reduce this joint pain and improve your quality of life. 

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What Are Facet Joint Injections

Facet Joint Injections are commonly used to treat pain from sciatica, spondylolisthesis, spinal oseoarthritis, whiplash, sports injury or facet joint syndrome.

The injection uses a local anesthetic and steroid medication to block pain caused by inflamed facet joints. Patients often experience immediate pain relief after an injection allowing them to resume activities that would have otherwise been too painful. 

If you are interested in learning more about how Facet Joint Injections work, use the resource buttons below to keep reading. If you would like to speak to our pain management specialists, use our contact form here.

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Facet Joint Injections Overview

Your spine is composed of moveable vertebrae, all connected to each other. These vertebrae contain joints that allow for safe motion. These spinal joints are called Facet Joints. Each facet joint operates as a hinge, allowing for flexibility in the spine, making bending and twisting easier. Facet joints are also surrounded by connective tissue and cartilage, allowing movement to be fluid. Healthy facet joints move (articulate) back and forth, protecting the spine against being overextended and injury.  

If the Facet Joint becomes swollen from injury or inflammation it can cause severe pain symptoms felt through the spinal column and the body. For example, if there is swelling in a facet joint in the neck, the individual may suffer from painful headaches and feel restricted in the movements of their head. Facet Joint inflammation in their back may cause lower back pain, or pain in the buttocks and thighs. Common symptoms of Facet Joint pain include:

  • Swelling in the facet joints 
  • Difficulty turning their neck 
  • Stiffness in the spine or neck 
  • Hunched over walking 
  • Difficulty standing 

Depending on the specific facet joint that is affected will determine the type of symptoms an individual will develop. If Facet Joints become too enlarged or inflamed, they may block the nerve roots that flow from the joints, causing a “pinched nerve” affect. It is critical for anyone potentially suffering from Facet Joint pain to be evaluated by a medical professional or a pain management specialist. They will be able to accurately determine the source of your pain and develop an effective treatment plan. One successful treatment approach for Facet Joint complications is Facet Joint Injections.  

A diagram of Facet Joints in the body

What is a Facet Joint Injection

Facet Joint Injections are a minimally invasive treatment for pain symptoms coming from the facet joints. The injection is a solution composed of local anesthetic and steroid medication. Facet joint injection can help diagnose the cause and location of pain whilst providing relief from the pain symptoms as well. The anesthetic from the injection can provide immediate relief to the facet joint, blocking pain. And the steroid allows patients to mitigate their pain symptoms to allow them to participate in activities such as physical therapy.  


How Do Facet Joint Injections Work

The anti-inflammatory properties of the steroid help reduce the inflammation in the facet joints. If the facet joints are indeed the source of pain (and not some other underlying condition) the anesthetic and steroid will provide long term relief. Patients may even notice pain symptoms are greatly reduced up to weeks after their injection. For other individuals, a series of Facet Joint Injections may be required to appropriately manage their pain.  

Your healthcare professional will utilize progressive, X-Ray guided fluoroscopy to determine the most effective placement of the injection in the joint. The solution is administered to the joint space, directly treating the affected area.  

The procedure is performed in a sterile environment. You will be positioned according to the location of your pain. The injection site will be cleansed using betadine or alcohol. Your physician will anesthetize your skin using local anesthetic. A small needle with medication will deliver the anesthetic to the site of pain. You may experience pressure at the site. The process may take up to 15 minutes to administer. You may begin to notice immediate relief, but it may take a day or two for the medication to take full effect.  

The nerves, muscles, and tissue surround the affected area of the knee are bathed in the solution from the injection, reducing inflammation and pain. This allows patients to experience better mobility and help them return to a fully functioning life. Some patients may even benefit from the short-term relief because it allows them to participate in physical therapy (another treatment method for back pain) for long term relief.  


What Do Facet Joint Injections Treat

The facet joints of the spinal column support a large amount of the body’s weight and movement. This makes the joints susceptible to easy degeneration from wear and tear and injury. The complex facet joint system in your spine also supports the health of the nerve branches that stem from the joints.  

Facet Joint Injections Treat: 

  • Facet Joint Syndrome 
  • Sciatica Pain 
  • Spondylolisthesis 
  • Spinal oseoarthritis 
  • Whiplash pain 
  • Sports injury 
  • Age-related degeneration of facet joints 

The structure of your spine can be vulnerable to several degenerative joint disorders at once. Sometimes, these joint complications can coexist, exacerbating existing pain symptoms.  

Immediately after a facet joint injection, a patient may also experience a temporary increase in pain before the anesthetic is experienced. You will need to take precautions to not overexert yourself and injure the injection site. You will also be asked not to sit in any pools or tubs for 48 hours after the injection to prevent infection. The steroid medication may take 2-3 days to start having a full effect. Patients can use an ice pack applied to the area to alleviate any discomfort.  

Pain and Spine Specialists offers progressive treatments like X-Ray guided fluoroscopy injections for Facet Joint Pain, as well as other therapeutic approaches. Our experienced and skilled medical professionals can help establish effective treatments to help reduce your pain symptoms to improve the quality of your life. You can call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia) and schedule an appointment today. 

Facet Joint Injection Specialists

At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of Facet Joint injection specialists are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your joint pain. We believe that all patients should have access to comprehensive care the helps restore their quality of life.

Our Providers

At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Our Providers

At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 

Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 


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