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FACET JOINT INJECTIONS

Back pain can be so elusive sometimes. That’s why you’re well advised to seek treatment from spine experts who know how to diagnose and best treat your back pain, no matter where it originates. Facet joint injections have proven to be highly successful for pain relief. Whether you get a cervical facet joint injection or a lumbar facet joint injection, it can resolve your pain from many painful joint conditions. Following a careful examination, your spine specialist at the Spine & Rehab Group in New Jersey and NYC provides relief from lower, upper and middle back pain with a range of integrative therapies and facet block injections. Call today for a consultation.

What Is a Facet Joint in the Spine?

Your spine is highly flexible. To allow its range of movement, the spine features multiple moving parts and joints. Facet joints in particular allow multiple movements of the spine, including bending, twisting and extending in different directions. These well-lubricated joints have a cartilage lining to reduce friction. They’re attached to the back part of each vertebral bone.

These joints also prevent spinal injury by restricting excessive movement, such as hyperextension and hyperflexion. When healthy, facet joints glide and slide when you move your back while preventing over-twisting. With age, disease or injury, changes in the facet joints can cause incapacitating lower back pain, upper back pain or middle back pain.

At the Spine & Rehab Group, with locations in New York City and northern New Jersey, Dr. Amr Hosny and the other spine specialists use the latest medical knowledge and technology to diagnose and treat spinal conditions. When appropriate, these treatments include facet injections.

What Is a Facet Joint Injection?

A facet joint injection contains a local numbing agent and steroid medication, which anesthetizes the facet joints, relieves inflammation and blocks the pain. Your spine doctor applies the medication using a small needle with x-ray guidance, called fluoroscopy, into the affected area of the facet joint. This is a highly effective pain management technique for back pain. Crucial facts to know about a facet joint treatment include:

  • Before the procedure, your spine specialist examines your symptoms and requests imaging tests of the affected spine area.
  • The doctor creates an individualized facet joint injection plan based on an accurate diagnosis.
  • The injection is a short, minimally invasive procedure performed at the doctor’s office.
  • The doctor works with a nurse and an anesthesiologist.
  • Your spine doctor marks a small injection spot, which is then cleaned and numbed.
  • The doctor first tests the location by injecting a contrast dye.
  • The facet block injection procedure ends when the medication is injected into the correct joint.

While the effects of the injection aren’t permanent, millions of people who suffer from neck and back pain have benefitted from this treatment technique. It’s helped them enjoy a better quality of life. The team at the Spine & Rehab Group in NYC and northern NJ use the latest imaging technology to perform the procedure successfully.

What Can a Facet Joint Injection Treat?

A facet joint injection can treat multiple conditions causing neck and back pain. The specific type of injection depends on your diagnosis of the condition, as well as which section of your spine has become painful. Some conditions where facet block injections have proved to be effective include:

  • Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lumbar facet joint injections for facet joint disorders in your lower spine
  • Cervical facet joint injection for facet syndrome in your neck or upper back
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • In combination with other non-surgical spine treatments, such as physical therapy, rest, medications and chiropractic manipulations

Your spine doctor only recommends lumbar facet injections or cervical facet injections after conclusive tests. By using advanced imaging technology, the doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group can pinpoint the exact facet joint causing your pain. This makes the results of the facet joint injection more easily predictable.

Who’s the Right Candidate for a Facet Joint Injection?

While a facet injection is highly effective in pain treatment, it only works for correctly diagnosed facet joint problems. Symptoms that you’re a good candidate for a facet injection include:

  • X-rays that show your facet joints are thicker than normal or have developed arthritis
  • You suffer from neck pain or back pain when you move
  • Movements such as bending or twisting aggravate your facet joint pain
  • You experience referred pain in your buttocks, hips, thighs or knees
  • There’s tenderness in the affected area on palpation
  • You experience back stiffness
  • You have radiating pain from your back to legs, arms or shoulders

Indications that you’re not a good candidate for facet joint injections include if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have an infection
  • Have allergies to anesthetic or steroid treatments
  • Suffer from a chronic bleeding disorder

Your doctor can recommend alternatives such as pain medication, muscle relaxants, massage therapy and pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) ablation. Contact the spine and pain specialists at the New York City and New Jersey spine clinic locations to get help with your back pain. The team uses a multi-disciplinary, integrative approach to treatment with the help of cutting-edge medical technology.

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