The facet joint block is an injection serving two purposes: 1) to identify the source of your pain, 2) to relieve your symptoms and alleviate your pain. In other words, facet joint block is both a test and a treatment. By process of elimination, Dr. Siddiqui treats the facet joints to see which ones respond to the injection. This pinpoints the source of the pain. Once the source is identified, The Spine Center can more effectively manage the pain to create less discomfort for you.
What to Expect with Facet Joint Block
On the day of your facet joint block, we advise you to avoid any strenuous activities that could place more strain on your back. You’ll be given a local anesthetic in the area of the injection, and then, a long needle will be inserted into the facet joint. Cortisone is then injected, and if the injected joint is the one causing the pain, you should notice your symptoms reducing within a few days. If the pain persists, this eliminates the joint as a source of pain, and future diagnostics may be required.
Common Questions about Facet Joint Block
To help you understand the facet joint block injection procedure as best as possible, we’ve provided some answers to the most common questions we’re asked about it.
- Does it hurt? We use local anesthesia in the area of the injection to minimize the pain. However, this is a deep injection, so there will be some level of discomfort involved.
- How does it work? The facet joint block uses process of elimination to determine which structure is causing your pain. If the joint being treated truly is the source of your pain, the injection should relieve your symptoms. If it’s not the source, your symptoms will persist.
- How long do the results last? Every case is different. Assuming the true source of your pain is the joint injected, your relief could last up to a few months.
- When can I return to normal activities? Typically, you can return to work the next day. Dr. Siddiqui will provide specific recommendations after your treatment.