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What is a Facet Block?
Feb 27, 2015

What is a Facet BlockWhat’s new in Conyers chiropractor news? The remedy known as the Facet Block. You’ve heard of a block to the pain during childbirth. This is a block to the pain in your back, and it can be applied to either the cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back) or lumbar (lower back) regions of your spine.

It’s something to consider when you’ve had an accident, injury or other problem with your back that is causing pain. Especially, when the recommendation is physical therapy.

Unless you’ve been there (or are there) you don’t understand the painful rigors of exercise done when your body isn’t working the way that it should. Just walking for someone who is suffering from the nerve pain of diabetic neuropathy can be extremely painful. Now imagine trying to exercise when there’s tingling and pain with every movement.

The Facet Joint

The same thing can happen in your back, the joint systems are complex. When we think of the spine, most of us are familiar with the idea of discs between the vertebrae. However, each vertebrae is more complex than that. At the back of each, there is a pair of two opposing joints, called facet joints, which bring the back extra stability and connect to the vertebrae below. That means your vertebrae are connected not just in between the main vertebral stem, but at four additional points behind each vertebrae – two at the top, and two at the bottom. These facet joints are padded by cartilage and surrounded by synovial fluid.

And because these are each another set of joints you may not have been aware of, they’re also another spot in your spine that you can begin to worry about. When they become injured, stressed or strained, they can become inflamed and painful. To help stop that, there is a procedure called a facet block.

The Facet Joint Block

This is an injection of fluid that blocks the reception of pain. It can be administered in any facet joint of the back, from the neck down to the pelvis.

The reasons for its use are to help a patient engage in physical therapy in a case where it would otherwise be too painful. That therapy will help to renew the back, and bring a more permanent measure of relief and rehabilitation. The other reason for a facet joint injection is to diagnose the location of an injury to the joint itself.

The way this happens is that a doctor will first administer an injection of anesthetic into the facet joint, followed by a cortisone steroid that will medicate the joint and help the patient be involved in further physical exertion. When the joint is medicated, if the pain stops, the doctor will know that this is the site of the pain that the patient is experiencing.

The Common Side Effects

The most likely and immediate effects of the injection include:

  • Hot flashes, which may last for two or three days.
  • You may feel like you want to eat more, or notice that you’re retaining more fluids and have gained weight following the injection.
  • Your blood pressure might be temporarily raised, as well as your blood sugar, which means diabetic patients need to make the point known to their doctor
  • Moodiness might strike you, such as anxiety or a short fuse. You may not be able to sleep
  • A short period of decreased immunity can follow the injection

Find the best chiropractic clinics in Conyers to ask about a facet block, or your primary care doctor. Remember, that your doctor can also refer you to a chiropractor for treatment.