Facet Joint Injections are used for either diagnostic and/or treatment of pain. They are an injection of long-lasting medication into the facet joints, which are located on the back of the spine on each side of the vertebrae. These joints are actual joints with a joint capsule that contains lubricating fluids. A problem in the facet joint may cause low back pain.
An injected steroid reduces the inflammation and/or swelling of tissue in the joint space. This may, in turn, reduce pain, and other symptoms caused by irritation of the joint and surrounding structures.
Injections are performed under local anesthesia while lying face down on an x-ray table, guided by a fluoroscopic x-ray (which provides live x-ray/imaging of the body). The complete procedure usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes and is intended to result in partial to complete back pain relief.