Manage Pain Associated With Facet Joint Arthralgia

Find relief for your joint pain

Facet joint painFacet joint pain can be debilitating. It is one of the most common causes of recurring low back and neck pain. This type of chronic pain makes it very difficult to keep up a healthy level of activity. At Oklahoma Pain Management, we can help you manage facet joint pain.

What causes Facet Joint Pain?

Your spine is made up of small bone structures, called vertebrae. Off each of these vertebrae there is a small stabilizing joint on each side of the vertebrae, called the Facet Joint. These are used to limit the range of motion of the spine when we are moving, twisting, and bending, allowing us to not over extend in any direction. As we move around in our daily lives, the joints slide on each other. Each joint also has a small amount of cartilage, which provides lubrication as the joints move. As the facet joints become worn, the nerves become inflamed and can provide a significant amount of pain.

Do you have Facet Joint Arthralgia?

This condition can be characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Pain in your lower back that is worse with extension and lateral rotation. May have some radiation into the hip or buttock, but not into the legs.
  • Pain in your neck that is worse with side-to-side motion or looking up. May have some radiation into the head or shoulder, but not into the arms.

What treatments are available?

Though treatments are tailored to each patient, we commonly use Facet Joint Blocks and Radio Frequency Ablations to treat Facet joint pain.

A Facet Joint Block is an injection of local anesthetic and sometimes steroid into a specific area to reduce pain associated with the medial branch nerve. A Facet Joint Block is used to confirm that medical branch nerve could be the source of pain and to decrease inflammation. It is both therapeutic and diagnostic.

If only temporary relief is given after two Facet Joint Blocks, a Radio Frequency Ablation may be the next step. A Radio Frequency (RF) is a nerve lesioning procedure that temporarily interrupts pain or nerve transmission for a prolonged duration. It uses a radio frequency machine to deliver a high temperature lesion to the patient’s medial branch nerve via an RF electrode to induce thermal destruction of the nerves.

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