Spinal pain is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. While some people experience pain because of an underlying medical condition or disease, this pain may also occur because of some type of injury. Some suffers experience a mild type of pain that feels almost dull, but others experience a much more intense shooting or even stabbing type of pain. Instead of using a heating pad or over the counter medications to relieve some of your pain, you might consider a treatment like a lumbar facet injection. Lumbar facet injections can help you take your life back.
Before you get one of these injections, you’ll need to make an appointment with a doctor or health care professional. That professional will typically take a medical history to look at the treatments and methods you used in the past and to get an idea of the type and level of pain that you experience. Our office uses this information to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. We’ll also take the time to fully explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have before scheduling your appointment for the injection and pain management.
When you come in for your injection appointment, we will take steps to make you feel more comfortable and help you change into one of our gowns. You’ll then lay down on the table designed for the procedure and let one of our trained health care professionals wash and dry your skin to remove any germs or bacteria. We will then give you a small injection designed to numb the skin and the surrounding area. This significantly reduces any pain and/or discomfort that you might feel later.
Our office uses something called a fluoroscopy, which combines the needle that the doctor uses with an x-ray machine. This is an important step in the process because it allows the doctor to see exactly where the needle goes as he or she works. The needle is very small and designed to work directly in the facet joint of the spine. With the lumbar facet injection, the doctor will inject you with a small amount of dye and check the x-ray machine to ensure that the needle is in the right position. The next step is the injection of two or more products. One of those products is an anesthetic that numbs the area to reduce pain later. You’ll also get an injection of an anti-inflammatory medication that reduces swelling in your spine.
After getting your injection, you will move from the procedure room to one of our recovery rooms. After resting for around 20 minutes, the doctor will test your range of motion and ask you to perform some simple and basic activities. We typically use the information that you provided earlier to find out which activities cause you the most pain. You’ll do those same activities, which lets us and you see how effective the injection was.
Many patients experience some mild side effects after the lumbar facet injection procedure. The most common one is some mild pain that occurs on or around the injection site. Any time that you get a shot, you will feel some general discomfort. Most patients find that this discomfort goes away after a few hours. You may feel more pain around the facet joint, which will also go away within a few hours or less. A small number of patients also experience an odd sensation after the procedure. You may feel a little weak or uncomfortable for a few hours.
Once you get lumbar facet injections, we highly recommend that you take it easy for the rest of the day. Though this can significantly reduce your spine pain, it is not a miracle treatment that works right away. You should bring someone along with you to drive you home later and avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for up to 24 hours after the procedure. We also recommend that you spend the day in bed or on the couch at home doing minimal activities for the rest of the day. Patients should also avoid using prescription or over the counter pain medications for at least six hours after leaving our office. This gives you time to see if the procedure worked for you.
Spinal pain can cause so much pain and discomfort that you cannot work a full day at the office or spend as much time as you want with your kids and loved ones. While there are a number of different treatments designed to reduce your pain, a lumbar facet injections may be one of the most effective treatments for you. Call our office today to schedule your first appointment and to learn more about our Pain Management Services