When your back or neck pain is affecting the quality of your life, consulting our reputed pain management experts is the best course of action.
Pain Management with Facet Injections
At Source Healthcare, our mission is to offer our clients comprehensive and highly effective treatment options for pain management. We offer facet injections for those with acute or chronic pain in the lumbar, thoracic, or cervical spine to mitigate inflammation and pain. Our experienced interventional specialists are top-rated in Santa Monica and are highly skilled at using diagnostic facet blocks and facet injections to provide quick relief from pain.
What Are the Facet Joints?
The facet joints connect the backbones in the spine to each other and enable the spine to twist and bend. These joints are similar to the hip or knee joints and have cartilage (the flexible connective tissue that protects the bones against impact and enables joint movement) as well as a fluid-filled capsule that facilitates smooth movement. Sports injuries, overuse, or medical conditions such as osteoarthritis can damage the delicate facet joints which become swollen and painful. Wear and tear of these joints thins out the cartilage between the backbone and with the bones no longer cushioned against impact, the joints rub against each other and become irritated and inflamed. This leads to a condition called “Facet syndrome.”
While Facet syndrome can occur anywhere along the spine, it commonly develops in the lower back or lumbar region and the neck (cervical region).
Pain Management Specialists
Source Healthcare has emerged as the leading Santa Monica spine, sports, and interventional pain management destination. The practice is headed by reputed board-certified, interventional specialists, Dr. Timothy T. Davis and Dr. Daniel A. Fung. With decades of extensive experience, our spine, sports, and interventional specialists provide the best treatment for back pain that Santa Monica can offer.
Our interventional pain specialists are highly skilled at formulating an individualized treatment plan for managing Facet syndrome with facet injections.
The Procedure: What to Expect?
Injections can be done under a local anesthetic or with sedation by an anesthesiologist. The physician will sterilize the area and numb the skin with a local anesthetic. Using fluoroscopy (or X-ray guidance), a needle is inserted into the target area.
The selected medication is then injected. The procedure typically takes 10 to 15 minutes.
How Do Facet Injections Help?
Inflammation of the facet joints in the spine can be a source of pain. Facet injections can help determine diagnostically how much pain is coming from the joints and may be therapeutic with relieving the pain.
Facet joints contain an intricate network of pain-sensing nerves called medial branch nerves that carry the sensation of pain to the brain. A facet block is also known as a selective nerve root block where the interventional specialists place a needle in the joint using fluoroscopy. This is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to provide moving images of the internal area.
A facet block, or medial branch block, may be performed as a diagnostic procedure, in which local anesthetic is injected outside the joint but around the nerve that supplies that joint. If this results in pain relief, the targeted joint could be the pain generator. The medial branch block is used to stop the pain transmission to the brain from the nerves. This helps the doctor identify the affected joint and design a targeted treatment approach with facet injections.
Alternatively, a facet injection may be performed, in which a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid are injected into the joint itself. This may help with inflammation occurring within the joint.
Optimal Pain Relief
Pain relief is reported by a majority of our clients a few hours after the injection. When planned and administered by our renowned experts, facet joint injections offer long-term relief from debilitating pain and are safe. While results may vary between patients based on individual health conditions and severity of pain, you can rely on Source Healthcare to offer effective pain management treatments that offer pain relief for several months.
Personalized Treatment Plans
At Source Healthcare, every treatment begins with a thorough medical evaluation. Our interventional specialists assess your medical and medication history while performing a physical exam to determine the source or cause of pain. An accurate diagnosis helps in formulating a precise treatment plan that is tailored to meet each individual’s unique therapeutic needs.
At the initial consultation, our orthopedic pain management experts discuss your candidacy for facet injections and explain the precautions to take before and after the procedure. Some medications such as blood thinners may need to be stopped several days before the procedure. Our office will provide this information to you before the injection.
It is important to note the immediate effects of the injection and the effects over the following 12 hours. Some clients may require two facet blocks or injections; this is individually assessed with a personalized plan by your physician. If two successful facet blocks are performed, then radiofrequency ablation may be recommended for long term relief.
If you think you may be a candidate for facet injection, please call our office to schedule an appointment.