What Are Facet Blocks?

What Are Facet Blocks?

Facet blocking is a treatment created to provide targeted relief for those suffering from debilitating back pain. Spinal facet joints are the small spaces located between the vertebrae of your spine. These articular processes act as stabilizing joints, allowing you to rotate, bend and move. In short, spinal facet joints provide your spine the strength and stability you need to function on a daily basis.

Sometimes though, because of accident or a chronic illness such as spinal arthritis, a facet joint becomes irritated and inflamed. This adds pressure on the bone and nerves, generating intense pain. In these circumstances, a facet block can literally change lives by providing substantial, almost immediate ongoing relief.

How is a Facet Block Performed?

After applying a local anesthetic, your doctor will use specialized imaging equipment to locate the exact facet or facets that are causing your pain. Once located, your doctor will perform the facet block using a numbing agent or steroid-based medication to block the pain signals coming from certain body regions. Depending on the number of injections, the medication used, and other factors, facet blocks can provide relief that lasts for days, weeks, even up to a few months. Sometimes multiple injections will be required to provide you relief.

Normally, facet blocks can be performed as often as three times within a six-month period. Your doctor will work with you to determine the schedule and treatment that is right for you. The facet blocks themselves actually take only minutes to perform. Most patients report relief within 48-72 hours following the procedure. Patients are advised to rest for the entire day and will require someone to drive them home after the fact block is performed.

You should also be advised that it is not uncommon to feel some soreness for a day or two after the procedure. Facet blocks have been in use for some time now and have shown very positive outcomes for the vast majority of patients.

If you have been suffering with chronic back pain, you may be a good candidate for facet blocking treatment. At Pain Specialists of Austin, we treat you as a whole person who has a life to get back to. Our only goal is to help you live as pain free as possible.

If you need help managing your pain, or would like more information about facet blocks, nerve stimulation, trigger point injections or any other pain management treatment, please schedule an appointment at one of our 10 conveniently located clinics in the Austin area. Call (855) 876-7246 or request an appointment online today. Pain Specialists of Austin – We know pain, and our specialty is stopping it.