Experiencing chronic back pain can be debilitating, but there are ways to manage this discomfort. One effective method is the facet block, a specific kind of pain management injection. If you’re curious about how long facet blocks last or what to expect from this treatment, this blog will provide the information you need.

Understanding the Nature of Facet Blocks

Facet blocks, also known as facet joint injections, are a method used to alleviate pain, particularly in the spine. The procedure involves injecting a mix of anti-inflammatory steroids and local anesthetic into the facet joints, which are part of your spine’s bony structure. These small joints can become inflamed due to various conditions, causing significant discomfort. By reducing this inflammation, facet blocks not only lessen pain but also enhance mobility.

The Process and Immediate Effects of the Injection

The procedure for getting a facet joint injection is relatively quick, typically completed within an hour. This timeframe includes consultation with your doctor, positioning for the injection, and a period for observation afterward. The immediate relief experienced post-injection is due to the local anesthetic, while the pain-relieving effects of the steroid usually kick in within two to seven days.

Variability in Duration of Relief

The duration of relief from a facet block can vary significantly from person to person. Some individuals may find substantial relief lasting several months, while others might experience shorter periods of alleviation. In general, the relief can be expected to last for a few months, but this is not a uniform experience.

When to Consider Further Injections

If you find that the relief from the initial facet block diminishes after a reasonable period, you might be a candidate for subsequent injections. Depending on your response to the first injection and our assessment, you could receive facet blocks up to three times a year.

What to Expect After a Facet Block

Patients who undergo facet blocks in Chicago or any other location should be aware that immediate relief is often followed by a brief period where the local anesthetic wears off before the steroid’s effects fully manifest. During this time, and even after, it’s crucial to monitor your pain levels and mobility improvements.

How long a facet nerve block lasts can depend on several factors, including individual patient response and the specific area treated. However, for many, these injections provide a significant respite from chronic spinal pain, enhancing quality of life and mobility.

Looking for lasting relief from chronic back pain? Contact the Pain & Spine Institute today to explore how facet blocks can help you reclaim a pain-free life.