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Facet joint injection

Donnabroad12DDonnabroad12 Posts: 5
edited 09/23/2014 - 4:35 AM in Spinal Injections
Hi I'm new I had a facet joint injection lady weds two of them and am in worse pain than ever , I have L5 dessicated disc spasms all the time I'm 44 and feeling hopeless I've had epidural and si injections they didn't work but did not make the pain worse ? Any advice xx
D broad


    edited 09/22/2014 - 1:53 AM
    From my experience, injections frequently result increased pain for the first week sometimes more after the injection. Sometimes it takes more than one injection to discern a positive impact. Also, they don't always work. You should talk to your doctor about that and ask about other treatment programs. I have used PT, Chiropractors, and ultimately surgery.

    Initially, the pain management and PT programs that I underwent were working. After several years, things got worse, i.e. my legs started to get weak, and the Pain Doctor sent me to the Ortho doctor and I had surgery on my lower back. The surgery killed most of my pain, not the arthritis pain, but every thing else and I started to get stronger again. The next phase in this saga, is that I started to get weaker again. My neck started having some new issues in addition to the ones that it already had. Tomorrow, I am scheduled for an ACDF. Hope this helps get my leg strength back.
  • I don't know why some facilities don't explain that these injections can make pain spike. As I remember with my first I was told I might experience a little 'tenderness' at the area!! It bloody hurt!! I take ice blocks with me to ice on the way home & every few hours after. It helps.
    I got better control of muscle spasms (very painful don't underestimate them!) when I had them treated as a separate entity. Trigger point shots (both lidocaine & Botox) help if followed by ice & stretching, specialists massage, topical prescription cream, muscle relaxants (Tizanidine, Baclofen) & PT work for me but only all together. Have you tried TENs?

    I've had blocks & nerve burning for my facet joints. They still cause me a lot of problems. How's your SI joint? The 2 go hand in hand for me. I'm having steroids injected for that at the moment. I know everything that's wrong with my spine & chip away at the problems & pain. For me learning to live with it has been a big part of managing the pain.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • It's so nice to hear your experience and not be alone I've had two facet joints done l5 apparently the disc is dessicated (black) in the MRI but they wanted to check it wasn't the facet joints I feel worse than before I had them last weds but at least I know its normal for a week to feel poorly spasms terrible and I'm grateful u told me not to underestimate the pain gosh I hope I get surgery x
    D broad
  • I know! It sucks doesn't it? You won't really know if it's going to work & give you some relief until you get towards the end of this week in my experience. I usually feel pretty down after getting any of the spine shots. I don't know if it's a reaction to the meds or just the whole stress, disappointment, pain flare etc of the whole experience. I hope you start to feel better soon. I'm about the same age as you with young kids. It's so hard isn't it?
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • It's been so nice reading the replies and knowing your not along well its a week today since my injection and although I can't do much or get out yet I am able to potter about and then rest for a bit so I've let go of the disappointment today and hoping it's starting to work ?? If not I guess I'm no worse than before the injection just frustrating knowing I've got to wait 6 weeks for a phone call to see if it worked ! Have the best day you can everyone :)
    D broad
  • Hi, I feel for you both. And yes, it IS so good to know you are not alone..and to talk to people who have experienced this horrendous pain! I had the facet joint injections...4 times...did nothing so I refused anymore. Especially as it is such a risky treatment and has long lasting effects to your bones. It causes degeneration. I was a worst case scenario...and have been great for 2yrs. I recently had a relapse...the doc says a new injury, can u believe that. My back hasn't been perfect in that 2 yrs but I certainly got from being laying down 90percent of the time to walking up to 12 kms a day, hiking etc. I am going to make a suggestion for you both to look into. Please google Myropractor, and google the psoas muscle. I can not stress enough that this is worth trying.My myropractor got me from being a mess, on crutches, couldn't walk 50yards without collapsing in excruciating pain. s1 L2 L3. This time around it is L2 L3 and L4, and this time I have the numbness on the inside of my left leg...with horrible pain in my knee! After docs, pain meds, anti inflammatories, I have returned to my Myropractor. So I don't repeat myself, you will see I have put a new post up under Sciatic Pain...this will explain what I went through and what helped me. Surgery would be major surgery for my case...so I don't want to go that path. Hope you ladies aren't in too much pain today. x
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 09/28/2014 - 5:38 AM
    steroid of any kind for any one patient can be risky, however, that is exactly why there are so many restrictions in the number of injections/procedures involving the use of steroids are in place, limiting how many can be done within a certain time frame.
    Facet joint injections are both diagnostic and treatment based....if the lidocaine used during the test injections relieves the pain, and the steroid included sometimes eases inflammation, then they are a useful tool for the doctors to determine what exactly is causing the pain....
    RFA uses no steroids , it is burning procedure done to burn the nerve fibers to reduce the pain.
    While myopractioners may have helped you, they are not the answer for all patients, and we need to be mindful of that. If surgery is not an option and the procedures aren't helping, it might be worthwhile considering asking your doctors before proceeding with any other treatment to ensure that there is minimal risk involved in making someone worse.
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