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A facet joint injection is an injection of pain medicine to help relieve symptoms from arthritis. The injection goes into your neck or back. Where you get your injection depends on where your pain is.
Facet joints connect your vertebrae to each other along the back of your spine. Problems in these joints can cause long-term (chronic) pain in the neck or back.
You may have numbness for a few hours. The numbness could be in your neck, back, arm or leg. It depends on which facet joint was treated.
You may feel pain relief right away. Sometimes the pain returns after the numbing medicine wears off. Your injection may also have included a steroid. Steroids take a few days to work. And they don't work for everyone.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Adaptation Date: 2/15/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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