What Is Facet Joint Syndrome?
Facet joint syndrome refers to the pain that occurs at the facet joint which is located between the two vertebrae in your spine. The facet joints allow for you to bend and twist and to have maximum flexibility in your back. In order for your vertebrae to move smoothly against each other, healthy facet joints have cartilage. When the cartilage becomes damaged, the facet joints become swollen and can cause pain. This can be due to aging, overwhelming pressure on your facet joints, injury or a chronic condition such as arthritis.
What Is a Facet Steroid Injection?
A facet steroid injection is a minimally invasive procedure where an anti-inflammatory steroid is injected into the facet joint. The facet joint can become inflamed due to a variety of chronic conditions and can, therefore, cause pain and discomfort. This is known as facet joint syndrome.
What Are the Goals of Facet Steroid Injections?
Facet steroid injections usually have two goals: to help diagnose the location and cause of the pain, and to alleviate pain.
Diagnostic goals: When the medicine is injected into the facet joint, the amount of pain that a patient experiences will determine if the facet joint is the cause of their pain. If the patient does not experience pain after the injection, it means that the facet joint was the source of the discomfort.
Pain relief: Because facet joint injections inject steroids into the joint, they allow for a decrease in inflammation which can help alleviate pain.
What Should I Expect?
This outpatient procedure takes around 20-30 minutes along with 45 minutes of observed recovery time. Patients may experience slight pressure and pinching around the affected area. We recommend that patients who receive facet steroid injections relax after the treatment but can return to their daily activities the following day.
We Can Help!
At Spine & Sports Rehabilitation Pain Management, we strive to help our patients get on track to a pain-free life. If you are interested in learning more about facet steroid injections or our other treatment options, contact us today!