Chronic pain in your back can be difficult to manage and limit your ability to function. Conditions such as disc herniation, degenerative discs, spinal stenosis, and annular tears can cause intense pain, weakness, and discomfort to your back, thigh, legs, or buttocks.

You are likely searching for the best pain management solution if you suffer from intense pain. Spine surgery is often a last resort for patient’s suffering from chronic low back pain.

The good news is that there are other effective yet non-surgical options. Epidural injections and facet joint injections are the most recommended non-surgical options for patients suffering from chronic pain.

What are epidural injections?

Epidural injections are used globally to manage lower back or lower extremity pain. Traditionally, the physician recommends this type of  treatment for managing neck, back, leg, or arm pain. The pain is caused by conditions such as:

  • Disc herniation
  • Annular tear
  • Degenerative changes
  • Compression fracture
  • Spinal stenosis

The injections contain a corticosteroid that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. After an injection, the anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling around the disc, joints or nerves. 

Additionally, epidural injections can be useful in identifying the root cause of pain. A specialist precisely injects around a nerve root to temporarily block the pain and identifies the exact point of injury or inflammation.

What are facet joint injections?

The facet joints are small connections between the spinal vertebrae that provide motion and stability to each of the spinal segments.   There are small nerve roots in the spine that supply each of the facet joints. 

A facet joint injection’s main role is to deliver anesthetic or steroids medication directly into the joint or to the nerves that supply the joints. The injections should be performed under x-ray to confirm accurate placement of the anesthetic and/or steroid medication.

A physician uses these types of injections for therapeutic and diagnostic reasons to manage pain resulting from arthritic or degenerative conditions on the facet joints. In most cases, facet joint injections are indicated in the following conditions:

  • Arthritis affecting the facet joints
  • Joint pain or neck pain
  • Facet joint syndrome

What is the difference between epidural injections and facet joint injections?

Epidural injections primarily treat pain that radiates from the spinal nerves to other parts such as the back, arm, or leg. It is useful in managing pain that occurs due to a specific nerve being inflamed or pinched.

Facet joint injections, on the other hand, treat pain coming from the facet joints causing back or neck pain. The injections are indicated for patients with pain that occurs due to arthritis conditions of the joints or injury or trauma to the facets, such as whiplash from an auto accident.

Book an appointment at First State Spine

Don’t let chronic pain make your life miserable. We have specialists with vast experience in epidural injections and facet joint injections. The non-surgical methods are recommended in managing chronic back, buttock, leg, or neck pain. Contact us to book an appointment with our fellowship-trained injection specialists.