Achieving Relief of Back Pain With Facet Injections
Posted Dec 28 2011 7:12am
Facet injections are minimally invasive procedures that temporarily relieve pain resulting from an inflammation in a facet joint. Pain associated with a facet joint is not fully understood, but it is believed that it is possible that it stems from one of several causes, injury, arthritis, or degeneration, and it can produce symptoms similar to disc degeneration.
A facet injection’s benefits only last temporarily; from a mere day up to a year as it is a minimal procedure. Facet injections are usually used in conjunction with physical therapy and/or other forms of treatment such as chiropractic spinal manipulation.
The injection introduces a long-acting corticosteroid, along with a numbing medicine into the painful joint. This is injected either into the joint capsule or potentially alongside the joint period the injection may also serve a diagnostic purpose in addition to a therapeutic pain relieving purpose.
The facet injection blocks pain signals sent to the brain by numbing the nerves in that area, patients that benefit from these injections may be candidates for facet rhizotomy, which is a procedure in which the nerve endings in the affected area are deadened by use of an electric current that destroys the nerves and prevents them from signaling the brain for pain.
Candidates for facet injections are patients suffering from (any or all of these symptoms) neck, lower back, arm combined with leg pain, caused by inflammatory response in the joints. Facet injections are often recommended for patients that did not show improvement to other remedies such as rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy or back braces.
Facet injections may be used for treating such diagnoses as arthritis, spondylosis, spinal stenosis, herniated disc, sciatica, or pain from postoperative period those who are pregnant or have a bleeding problem or an active infection are not candidates for the procedure. In addition, those who have uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure should use caution as the procedure may temporarily raise blood sugar levels or blood pressure levels.
Speedy pain relief
Facet injections are given in outpatient setting by either anesthesiologists, radiologists, surgeons, for Xigris, or pain doctors. If what Oscar the machine is utilized which is a real-time x-ray device that allows the provider to get a better look at the needle placement and ensure a better placement. Typically the patient feels a pressure sensation and not really too much pain as long as the area along the skin is numbed prior to putting in the regular needle.
Certain patients they may need a Valium or some other antianxiety drug to help for the injection. Most individuals are able to walk right after the injection but most will end up needing a ride home. The patient should notice pain relief within a few days to maybe a week after the procedure if only minimal pain relief is achieved then a 2nd region of 3rd infection may be necessary. If the 1st 2 injections do not work as a 3rd may end up being necessary. Over 70% of patients get excellent relief from the facet injection and the procedure may be repeated 2 to 3 times annually.
There are minimal risks associated with the facet injection, and they may include infection or bleeding or maybe an allergic reaction. Some side effects that may be noticed can include hot flashes, fluid retention, a temporary rise in blood sugars, or interrupted sleep patterns. Diabetics should monitor their blood sugars carefully around the time of an injection, and those individuals who take blood thinning medications should stop them according to what their physician tells them as far as timeframe.
Facet injections are an excellent nonoperative choice to try for moderate to severe back or neck pain. They have a lower risk profile than spinal surgery and less chance of complications.