Facet joints exist between each vertebral body in the spine and help to stabilize the spine, provide balance, and allow motion. We use these joints every single day and, over time they can develop some wear and tear. When facet joints degenerate, it can result in pain, imbalance, and a decreased range of motion. A facet joint injection is a minimally invasive method of treating degenerative facet joints.
What are the Facet Joints?
The facet joints are located at each vertebral level of the spine. They are small joints that help stabilization in the spine, also aid in movement, and prevent the vertebra from rubbing against one another. Certain conditions and injuries, such as arthritis can cause the facet joints to degenerate. When these joints break down, the effects can range from back pain, to decreased mobility.
Facet Injection Procedure
A facet joint injection is a minimally invasive procedure in which steroids are injected into one or more facet joints in order to provide pain relief. The procedure begins with a local anesthetic to numb the patient’s back. Then the physician guides a needle through the back and to the degenerative facet joints. Once there, the steroids are injected and will reduce inflammation and pain in the joints. This is a quick outpatient procedure with a fast recovery.
Facet Injections & Back Pain Relief
The ultimate goal of a facet joint injection is to relieve back pain, but the procedure can also be diagnostic in nature. If the patient reports significant pain relief after the injection, the facet joints are likely the source of pain. On the other hand, if there is no pain relief following the procedure, there may be a different underlying cause of pain such as a herniated disc. The source of back pain is often difficult to pinpoint. Facet injections help narrow down the list of possible causes of your back pain.
Twin Cities Back Pain Clinic
If you are living with back or neck pain, a facet joint injection could provide you with the relief you’re looking for. Many people think they have to just live with their back pain. Not true. A facet joint injection can reduce your pain and allow you to return to exercise and other everyday activities. Make an appointment with Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of Minnesota today to learn how a facet injection can help relieve your pain. Our doctors treat patients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina, and the surrounding Twin Cities suburbs. Submit an appointment request through our online form or call us at (612) 20-SPINE.