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Facet Joint Injection

Back or neck pain may be caused by a problem with your facet joints. If so, a facet joint injection may help. With this treatment, medication is injected into certain facet joints. The injection can help your healthcare provider find problem joints. It may also relieve your pain.

Back view of two vertebrae showing facet joints connecting bottom of one vertebra with top of another.

What Is a Facet Joint?

Bones called vertebrae make up your spine. Each vertebra has facets (flat surfaces) that touch where the vertebrae fit together. These form a structure called a facet joint on each side of the vertebrae.

What Is a Facet Joint Injection?

One or more facet joints in your back or neck can become inflamed (swollen and irritated). This may cause pain. During a facet joint injection, medication is injected into the inflamed joints. This treatment helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Pain relief should last for weeks to months. If the pain returns, you may need a repeat injection.

Inflamed joint with needle inserted into joint space. Normal joint with healthy lining showing reduced inflammation after injection.

Getting Ready

To get ready for your treatment, do the following:

  • At least a week before treatment, tell your healthcare provider what medications you take (including aspirin). Ask whether you should stop taking any of them before treatment.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or allergic to any medications.

  • Stop eating or drinking 8 hours before you check in for your injection or as directed.

  • If asked, bring x-rays, MRIs, or other tests with you on the day of your treatment.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 5/15/2011
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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