The facet joints are the joints between your spine bones (vertebrae). They allow you to move and twist your back in different directions.
If these joints become inflamed or irritated, they can begin to cause back pain. A lumbar facet block is a pain-relieving injection that combines corticosteroids and anesthetics. One injection can provide months of pain relief and be repeated if necessary.
Your doctor may also recommend a lumbar facet block to determine the cause of your back pain. If the facet block works, your doctor can more accurately diagnose the cause of your pain. If it doesn’t work, your doctor may look for other causes of low back pain like a herniated disc.
The experts at The Spine Care Center have performed thousands of lumbar facet blocks to relieve back pain. You can rely on their experience and knowledge to help you enjoy long-term pain relief without surgery. Of course, if surgery is necessary, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery procedures that minimize your recovery time and post-operative pain.
The Spine Care Center has a sophisticated, office-based procedure suite to perform lumbar facet blocks and other interventional spine procedures. Lumbar facet blocks don’t require much advance preparation. If you are receiving sedation during your procedure, you may need to avoid eating or drinking for a certain period of time before your injection. If you are receiving sedation, you’ll also need someone to drive you home from your procedure. You may also need to avoid certain medications. Your doctor will answer any questions you have about your appointment.
At the Spine Care Center, we perform lumbar facet blocks in our Manassas office. Because our pain medicine physicians are also board-certified to treat patients with anesthesia, they have the resources to keep you comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure.
Once you are sedated, we clean and apply a local anesthetic around the injection site. Your physician will also inject you with a special dye that shows up on X-rays. The doctor can then use a live X-ray of your spine to place the needle where you are experiencing pain. They will slowly anti-inflammatory medicine into the inflamed facet joint.
After all the medicine is injected, they will put a bandage on the injection site and bring you out of sedation. The entire procedure takes only a few minutes.
After your procedure, you are asked to rest for the remainder of the day and avoid any strenuous activities. You’ll need to stay in our office for about half an hour as the sedation wears off. You will be monitored by our clinical staff during this time.
If your injection site feels tender, you can apply ice for about 20 minutes every hour to soothe it. You should be able to return to your normal activities the next day. You may start to feel the benefit of the steroid injection the next day, or soon thereafter. You may experience rare, mild side effects such as flushed face, trouble sleeping, or anxiety. If you are concerned about side effects, you should always speak to your physician.
Are you ready to find pain relief from facet joint pain? Call The Spine Care Center in Manassas today or request an appointment online to learn more about lumbar facet blocks.