Facet Joint Injections
There are many regions in the back where one may experience pain. One common site of pain is the facet joint. This is the location where two vertebrae connect on either lateral side of the spine. There are many reasons this may become painful, such as injury, poor posture, and arthritis. Regardless of the cause, this pain can be unbearable.
Causes of Facet Joint Pain
Facet joint pain can be caused by many things. One common contributor to facet joint pain is the regular progress of aging. Overtime, the spine is slowly compressed. This compression takes a toll on the entire spine, but the joints of the facets take the burden of this compression the most. In addition, poor posture and body mechanics can have an effect on the facet joints, even years down the line. Frequent twisting of the spine and overexertion can cause this joint to wear down. Also, injury can cause da
mage to both the facet itself and the joint between the facets. Either way, this increased strain on the Facet Joint can cause pain and damage. This can cause inflammation and swelling, causing further nerve pain and damage as well. This damage can occur at any region of the spine, including the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar.
What Facet Joint Injections Are
Facet joint injections are, as the name would suggest, injections into the facet joint of the spine. Facet joint injections are a minimally invasive treatment for pain in the back on the lateral edge of the spine. These injections typically hold a localized anesthetic and a steroid medication to reduce swelling and relieve pain. the anesthetic serves to numb the immediate pain and limit swelling. Steroids also serve to reduce swelling in the area. The reduced swelling can also assist in pain relief by on other tissues in the spinal area, including nerves. This is performed as an outpatient procedure. That means that it is done in a clinic and the patient can return home upon completion. It is important to remember that whenever localized anesthetics are used, driving is not recommended for 24 to 48 hours. Results vary based on person. Some experience immediate and long-lasting benefits from simply experiencing one treatment. Others only see benefits after multiple attempts.
How to Maintain Pain Relief
Once the appropriate amount of facet joint injections have been completed, the pain will have subsided. However, this is not inherently a permanent solution. Much work must be done to keep the pain away. This includes improving body mechanics. If poor posture or excessive twisting is the cause of facet joint pain, these habits must be changed. When the root cause of facet joint pain is that of an injury, further additional injuries must be avoided. If arthritis or other medical problems have caused facet joint pain, talk to your doctor about treatment options to maintain pain relief associated with facet joint injections.
Are you ready to say goodbye to your facet joint pain? Call Dr. Grimm today to schedule an appointment to discuss facet joint injections and you.