Back and neck pain can be down right debilitating. The pain and discomfort from these issues and injuries can cause limited mobility and lead to chronic pain if left untreated. For many chronic spinal pain patients there is good news: surgery may not be their only option. In fact, many back and neck pain patients can improve their lives through a combination of non-surgical procedures and physical therapy.
When a patient’s pain can be traced to a specific area, like the facet joints for example, many doctors may recommend a conservative approach at first to try and fix the underlying issue to avoid making a patient go through a more invasive surgical procedure such as a fusion. In order to help ease the pain and discomfort within your facet joints, your doctor may recommend a procedure known as a facet joint injection.
What is a Facet Joint?
The spine consists of a column of moveable bones called vertebrae that are connected to one another. Located on the back of these vertebrae are 2 small, separate facet joints that connect the bones of the spine and help provide stability and guide movement. Nerve roots pass through these joints to go from the spinal cord to the arms, legs, and other parts of the body. As we age, these facet joints can degrade over time and become irritated or inflamed due to arthritis, injury, or repetitive motions that wear out the cartilage in these joints.
How Does a Facet Joint Injection Work?
A Facet Joint Injection procedure involves injecting a small amount of local anesthetic and typically a time-released steroid such as cortisone into the joint. This combination of injections can help numb the facet joints and block the pain by reducing inflammation. The goal of a facet joint injection is to help the patient better tolerate the pain and discomfort so that they have a chance to rehabilitate their back or neck more naturally without having to undergo more invasive and risky surgical procedures.
Make Us Your Trusted Spine Surgeon
While the goal of a procedure such as a facet joint injection is to prevent having to have surgery, for some patients these injections combined with physical therapy may not work. In those instances, it may be time to talk to your doctor about other avenues to consider. Here at the offices of William Capicotto MD, PC we explore every available option both surgical and non-surgical to help restore motion and improve the lives of our patients. Call our office today to schedule your consultation at (716) 881-0382.