Facet Joint Pain and Nerve Blocks

When your neck or back hurts all the time it can be incredibly debilitating and have a negative impact on your quality of life. You may no longer be able to participate in activities you once loved and you may feel short-tempered, sad and even depressed. Add to this the frustration of going to several doctors to find relief only to continue suffering and then looking for a good pain doctor in Chandler. While it can be difficult to get to the root of what’s causing neck or back pain, it’s not impossible with the right physician and care approach.

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One of the common sources of back and neck pain are the joints of your vertebra called facet joints. These slightly overlapping joints are on the back of the spine where they guide spinal movement; allowing you to bend and twist. These joints are protected by cartilage, but that cartilage often wears down over time; leaving the bones in direct contact with each other. As you can imagine, this friction can cause painful inflammation and an equally painful grinding sensation as bone rubs on bone. This can cause the bone to press on nearby nerves further creating and extending the pain response. These joints often degrade as a natural part of the aging process, but can also become painful when they are injured through an accident or stressed due to excess weight and/or lack of exercise.

As a premier pain doctor in Chandler, we specialize in issues with the facet joints termed “facet joint syndrome.” One of the ways in which our double-board-certified pain doctors can treat your neck or back pain is through a facet joint nerve block in Chandler. These nerve blocks contain a mixture of anesthetic and steroids which act to reduce inflammation and can help eliminate back or neck pain for months. If the facet joints were the source of your neck or back pain, you will experience immediate relief from the anesthetic and then the steroid will kick in a few days afterwards; providing weeks or even months of relief. If you don’t experience long-lasting pain relief from the steroid, our physicians will likely perform additional tests to pinpoint the problem. And, if a nerve block doesn’t provide long enough relief, nerve ablation may be a good next step for longer-lasting effects.