Back or neck pain that doesn't respond to front-line treatments could benefit from facet joint injections into the spine. If you're affected by spinal arthritis and are interested in injectable solutions, interventional pain management physician Nicolas Maxymiv, DO, of Richmond Spine Interventions and Pain Center can help. At their Midlothian, Virginia, location, Dr. Maxymiv and his team use advanced imaging technology to deliver facet joint injections and relieve chronic spinal pain. Find out more by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.
Facet joint injections are a valuable treatment option for persistent back pain.
Your facet joints link the vertebrae in your spine, allowing it to bend while regulating the direction and extent of spinal movement. Just like any other joint in your body, facet joints can develop arthritis and cause chronic pain.
Facet joint injections contain medications that relieve the pain and inflammation arthritis causes when initial treatments aren't helping.
Richmond Spine Interventions and Pain Center also uses facet joint injections to determine the origin of back pain when other diagnostic methods can't pinpoint the source. In this case, your provider numbs your spine at a specific level to see if that relieves your symptoms.
Facet joint injections typically contain two medications that act in different ways. One is a local anesthetic, which masks the pain in your back by numbing all the nerves in the area. This provides fast-acting relief from constant back pain, but only lasts a short while.
The other medication in facet joint injections is a steroid. Steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that have powerful, long-lasting effects. Rather than masking pain like the anesthetic, steroids tackle the cause of your pain — tissue inflammation.
Richmond Spine Interventions and Pain Center performs facet joint injections as an outpatient procedure.
First, you lie on your stomach on a treatment table, and your provider disinfects your back. Next, they inject a local anesthetic at the injection site so you don't feel any pain as the needle enters your body.
To ensure the needle doesn't go astray but delivers the medication to the exact place on the facet joints, your provider uses fluoroscopy X-ray imaging.
The effect of the local anesthetic in the facet joint injection is immediate and should numb the area completely for several hours or longer. However, you might feel like the pain has increased after the anesthetic wears off and for a day or two afterward.
This is normal and soon passes. The steroid medication takes longer to start working, typically between a couple of days and a week or so. You should then start to benefit from the steroid's anti-inflammatory effect.
If you have back or neck pain because of spinal arthritis, facet joint injections can provide relief from your symptoms. Call Richmond Spine Interventions and Pain Center today to find out more or book an appointment online.