A facet join block or injection is a spinal procedure used to temporarily numb a small nerve, one that controls the pain coming from the facet joint in the spine. When this occurs, the pain and physical limitation experienced from the patient should significantly improve for the expected duration of the type of numbing medicine used during the procedure.
Patients are encouraged to take notes regarding their relief to give the physician an accurate portrait of the level of relief given from the procedure. Provided the patient gets the expected level of relief, a longer lasting steroid injection or radiofrequency ablation can be performed. These injections are performed under fluoroscopy (guided X-ray) in order to properly locate the facet joint and yield the best outcome for the patient.