While there are many benefits of a facet joint injection in cases of back pain but there are also certain side effects that form a part of a facet joint injection. Before we read about the side effects of facet joint injection, lets us know why is a facet joint injection administered.
What Is The Purpose Of A Facet Joint Injection?
Facet joints are small joints located at each segment of the spinal cord which provides stability to the spinal cord and facilitates motion. If these facet joints are put ender excessive stress due to overuse of the spine such as doing a lot of bending and lifting, an injury to the spine, or a condition like arthritis, they can become painful. The pain in the facet joints can be quite debilitating and can make it difficult for an individual to carry out normal activities of daily living.
While pain medications and NSAIDs are quite effective in relieving facet joint pain, a facet joint injection is often the route taken by healthcare professionals once the oral medications have lost their efficacy. A facet joint injection involves injecting a small amount of anesthetic into the facet joints to anesthetize the area and block the pain. A facet joint injection is normally done to allow the patient to have better ability to tolerate rehabilitation and other exercises intended to make the back strong and treat the underlying condition causing pressure on the facet joints. Facet joint Injections act as both diagnostic and therapeutic meaning that it can be used for identifying the cause of the condition and also help treat it.
If the patient experiences immediate pain relief after the injection then the facet joint is to be blamed for the pain. Therapeutic wise, in a facet joint injection, the patient is injected not only with an anesthetic but also with a steroid medication which helps in calming down the inflammation and provide long term pain relief for the patient.
Side Effects Of Facet Joint Injections
Some of the common side effects of facet joint injections include:
Redness & Tenderness: Apart from the common risks that are associated with any injection procedure to include redness and tenderness at the injection site, there are also quite a few side effects that may be expected post a Facet Joint Injection.
Hot Flashes: To begin with, a patient after undergoing a Facet joint Injection may experience hot flashes for a few days after the procedure.
Weight Gain: The patient may also experience side effects like fluid retention which may lead to weight gain and increased appetite as a result of the facet joint Injection procedure.
High Blood Pressure: Increase in blood pressure is also one of the side effects seen in individuals who undergo a Facet joint Injection procedure. Such individuals also may exhibit frequent mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and lack of sleep as a result of the procedure.
Increased Blood Sugar: The blood sugars may also go up transiently in individuals who undergo a Facet Joint Injection procedure and therefore it is mandatory for diabetic individuals to inform their physicians about their condition before undergoing such a procedure.
Reduced Immunity: The immunity of individuals who undergo a Facet joint Injection procedure also goes down for a while after the injections. These side effects are temporary and will go away after a few days post having a Facet Joint Injection.
- Q and A on Disabling Low Back Pain Due To Muscle Spasm or Tense Back Muscles or Facet Joint Pain
- What is Facet Joint Injury, Know its Treatment, Recovery Period
- Stretching Exercises for Facet Joint Syndrome