Facet joint injection: has anyone had one of... - Pain Concern

Pain Concern

32,033 members10,348 posts

Facet joint injection

prim50 profile image

has anyone had one of these and found it helped i know it not be the end of the whole thing i will still hav to manage my SI facet joint but it might help me get through the pain to get strengthening muscles etc

28 Replies

Hi prim50,

Am sorry but am not a fan of the steroid injection...

I got one done in Dec 2011, I felt it did nothing for me, it has actually made my condition worse.

Please don't let me put you off, you get it done, as I heard it works for some, others are just not as lucky.

Take care


Hi I agree with Joe I had facet injections done on the 11th May had them done several times before and had relief for a few months,but these haven't worked. I think you have to give them ago you may be lucky. Good luck. Xx

I had facet joint injections with partial effect, but have had two lots of radio-frequency lesioning which I found much more effective.

Good luck xx

Hi prim50, I am one of the lucky one`s I have the facet joint injections done both sides of my spine with four injections( two each side) every six months not a pleasant experience but for me it`s worth it for the relief I get from having it done. I have been having them for three years now and in between the injections I have a laser treatment done that also doesn't work for everyone but it works for me .I was warned the injections don`t work for everyone but yes they work for me. Give it a go you have nothing to lose you may be one of the lucky one`s it`s like all the medication what suits one does not suit another. Good luck to you whatever you decide. tricia

Hi I first had facet joint infections in Oct 2010 and they worked a treat, I had 3 each side in my lumbar region after a couple of weeks of discomfort I was pain free for a whole year. I didn't take a single painkiller.

The pain gradually returned and by Oct 2011 I was back to square one.

This time round I had to go on a pain management course before they would refer me to the pain team again. The consultant was more than happy to perform the same procedure again but this time it wasn't successful.

Like they always tell you, nothing is guaranteed.

The actual procedure isn't too bad. I just watched where he was putting the needle on the xray. The nurse was impressed as I barely flinched during the whole thing.

Hope that helps! I'd say it's definitely worth a try.

K x

I don't think it is very helpful for you to be reading negative comments about this treatment. We are all unique and there is absolutely no way you will know if it works or not till you try it The last thing I would want to hear s how bad a reaction someone had. Just go for it and be positive! People do like to be negative and project their pain and disappointment on to others.

I am having an injection next week and plan to keep an open mind. NOBODY can tell you how it will be for you, just go for it! Do you really need to read that somebody was worse after it?!! I don't think so!

Let us know how you get on.

Dragonfly32 profile image
Dragonfly32 in reply to SylviaH

I have been having injections done sense last year, I've had trigger points and the facet injections where you are put to sleep. When you are in constant severe pain your willing to do anything to get relief. But the injections have not worked for me either. I am happy to hear it works for some people, but it's difficult on those who do not get relief or have not had the procedure done before. So they need to know what to expect..When you live with chronic pain with little relief in sight it's hard not to become frustrated and negative, were only humans and can only take so much. I was in a severe car accident over a year ago and have had physical therapy, chiropractic care, and pain mgmt. I'm on more medication then anything for pain ,sleep and depression. I'm 32 and can no longer work, it's devastating when you are use to doing things you can no longer do, existing hurts even, and it's extremely wearing when treatments don't provide relief because you begin to loose hope. We have to be honest with each other at least we're not alone, I would not wish this on anyone. I hope the best for you all! I never understood this until I now going through it myself. Try everything you can it's hard not to give up.

thanks all i am just waiting now to see even if gp will sort it out for me will give it a go and hope it helps and then try and manage it from there

Don't do it !!!! I had a facet joint injection nearly 20 years ago and it disabled me and left me in intollable pain for the rest of my life. The injection only has to be a the very slightest way off and they are injecting posion into your spinal cord going through permeable membraines, they inject you with drugs such as depo-medrol which is not liscenced for use near the spine but they don't tell this, they do it anyway.

Even if they are so called doing it under xray control which mine was they can distroy you, You think you have pain now ! well consider this that same, but 100 times worse, Pain you have now then have it spreading to every nerve ending in your body then you look back ask yourself why did I let them do this !!!

The surgeon may be very convinsing but he does'nt have to live with the consquences and he/she will tell you you be back to work in three days as right as rain DO NOT BELIEVE THIS !!

Seek a non invasive way as these injections will do you no good and ask yourself this if you need anti-inflammatory drugs why risk putting them in such a crucial place & does this mean you will have to have more to keep it up ??

Ask the questions what drug are they injecting, why and what alteratives are there because this might scare you but thats the point. Having experience this, I would never let anyone near my spine again. Because is all guess work, they don't know what the out come will be so be very very afraid of what these so called experts are telling you.

Non-invasive even if you have to pay I would do anything to turn the clock back and never have them do what they did to me !!! I hope this helps a bit just keep asking questions and get answers that are sound not vaugh, if the later run or struggle to run for the hills and don't look back cause there are no miricle cures. XX

SylviaH profile image
SylviaH in reply to dogbreeder

Dogbreeder scaremongering is not what prim50 needs right now! I note you said you had yours done 20 years ago, don't you think maybe they have advanced the science since then? I really wonder why anyone asks anyone else on this blog their view, everyone is different and we really do have to make our own choices, it is wrong for you to tell the writer not to believe the surgeon - how bitter and angry you sound.

johnsmith profile image
johnsmith in reply to SylviaH

I have met a lot of surgeons who lie. There are many surgeons who have written books of medicine containing false data. In the States medical people have been taken to task over false data. In the UK it is covered up and nothing gets done.

The truth of the matter is that noone knows if it will work until they have it.

Research has to be done to see what the surgeon sucess rate is. Who is doing it? Experienced person or a freshly qualified graduate.

I have personally met people whose lives have been ruined by simple medical procedures. I have met other people who think the procedure which has ruined the life of one person has improved their life.

Procedures are a skill in the hands of the person who is doing it. Different people have different sucess rates. That is what needs to be looked into.

triciaj profile image
triciaj in reply to dogbreeder

Good morning Dog breeder, What a bitter person you sound perhaps if you put behind you what happened 20 years ago and talked calmly to your pain relief clinic (if you go to one) you may be surprised how treatment has changed in 20 years. I am sure they will show you proof that nothing is injected in to you that is not licenced in this country for injections near your spine. Just a thought, perhaps you should work on your attitude first if you help yourself others will help you. Regards tricia

dogbreeder profile image
dogbreeder in reply to triciaj

You are wrong it's still happening drug of chose for ortopeditic and pain clinics is DEPO-Medrol which has ethalin glycol which is the preservative in with the anti-inflammatory. Ethanin gylcol is anti-freeze if these liqiuds get anywhere near the permeable membraines your nerves will clump and this will disable you or cause worse fact.

Depo-Medrol is NOT licenced for use in or around the spine,but Dr's can use it as the wish.

Plus having got a medical background, I really don't care for you tone as I was expressing concern for other human being as it's to late for me. If I can diswayed one person from going down this same route I will try. Freedom to speak I believe.

I am absolutely terrified of being injected with Steriods and epidurals and unless I change my mind and ask my GP to be referred back I will keep taking the Medication. So I've got some thinking to do.

The success rates don't inspire me very much either:

(1) It might work.

(2) it might not work.

(3) it mIght make it worse.

My own personal experience of an epidural for pain is that I had the injection in my spine and it made my left foot totally numb within minutes, I really couldn't feel it for days, plus the headache that it gave me lasted for two weeks, and I mean the worst!. The main thing is that it wasn't my foot that was supposed to be pain free. In fact it was nowhere near the area it was supposed to be!.

I don't wish to be on medication for the rest of my life, but in my case I have a factual and documented reason for rejecting an epidural. I don't trustf anyone no matter how qualified to inject anything into my spine!. Ok it isn't as bad as some of the horror stories that mention being paralysed from the waist or neck down, I don't think there's been many advancements but it is totally personal choice and what doesn't work for me may work for someone else. Just not me.

Kind regards


I have to agree with the comment about us being very different.

I had injections in 2002, I think it was my 5th facet joint. The injections were uncomfortable but the relief was amazing.

I proceeded to have terrific physio advice (NHS) about strenghtening my back muscles by strengthening my stomach muscles in a very very gentle was, being careful with my posture, especially whilst sitting. I did everything I was told and I never had the pain again!

Good luck but do find out about exercises which strenghten that area, it really does help.


karmashadow profile image
karmashadow in reply to Mavismac


Good to hear! and I'm happy because you've found something that works for you!. I'm not sure about exercise, I wish I would wake one day and be back to "normal"!. My GP says to take it one day at a time, I'm trying to do it without feeling frustrated,

Kind regards


I had quite a few of these and unfortunately they didn't help me. In the end the consultant decided there was no point if they weren't working.

My brother in law had one and it worked first time. Not everyone is so lucky but definitely worth a try,

Its not too unpleasant either.


Hi there,

Apologies for the late post, I am recovering from these injections! I had 6 done last Sunday and the doctor had a little trouble injecting 3 of them, so still in quite a bit of additional pain. No improvement yet, but can take a couple of weeks before I may feel any benefits. I did have a course of them in 2010 before my decompression operation, however, they did not help at all. I am more hopeful of positive results this time as have had an operation since then, so fingers crossed.

I agree with others that each individual case is different, and being a quick and fairly non-invasive procedure with few side effects, so I would say that it is worth trying to avoid operations. I wont lie though, it did hurt... I didnt feel the needle going in except for some preesure due to the anaesthetic, but when they found the source of th pain.... it was really painful whilst they completed the injections (but only for a few minutes).

I believe you can request sedation but they prefer just a local.

All the best and I hope you find relief whatever you decide.... I have met many people that found these injections life changing and irradicate most of their pain and hope this will happen for you.

Stampede 187

I really hope that you're successful with the injections!

Best wishes

Hi Prim 50, There was a documentary on 'Pain management' a couple of weeks ago mainly highlighting the lack of resources here in West Wales. The pain specialist on the programme was the one I have received treatment from for the past 15 years. During this time I have had Facet j's about 10/15 times + RF. I found them to be beneficial on only 3 occassions and then for a limited time only. From research I have done there is a suggestion that the FJ';s themselves can exacerbate a pre existing condition. The specialist himself admitted that frequently he performs this procedure with full knowledge they will be of little or no benefit and performs them only to provide some hope and mental comfort to his patients. The procedure itself has always incurred excrutiating pain despite having local anaesthetic (it is beneficial to be awake during the procedure as I have the complication of metalwork to weave around) It is possible to have general anaesthetic in some cases. Despite my knowledge, would I recommend it? Absolutely! Any relief from the dreaded CP is a blessing. Take care.

karmashadow profile image
karmashadow in reply to talgarth


I would like to watch that programme if it's available on demand? Kind realise it focuses on your area, but I may still learn or glean something helpful,

Kind regards

Hi all,

I know this is not really relevant but I was offered injections into a facet joint and nerve root which I went in for on 6th June. When the consultant saw me before the treatment he said he was only going to do the nerve root, he didn't explain why. I was sedated and it was done under Xray so I felt nothing. I am very happy to say that I am very nearly free of pain, although still on morphine (patch and liquid) which I am gradually reducing. It means that I can now take my dog to the heath where she can run free, which she loves. I still use two sticks just to keep my balance and can walk for about 15 minutes before needing to sit down. (my husband drives us there as I still can't drive because of the morphine)

However, I am experiencing some very severe attacks of cramp in my leg, mostly during the night, which I hadn't had before the treatment, do not know why. Any suggestions? And any treatments for cramp?

Cheers, Chriswinkle

Hi Christine,

Many congratulations on the strides you are making after the injections, I hope you are going to feel fantastic!.

Kind regards and best of luck!



First of all we need to remember we are all different,and different precedures work differently to each and every individual,

I do have facet joint injections and sacroiliac facet injections I have theses done 3times a year they do give me respite from chronic pain but they don't last forever

The ones I have are bilateral sacro-iliac facet joint injections ,( just read my discharge notes) I had 3 on my left side and 3 on the right side ,

I had these done on 3 April after have many appointments cancelled which is so frustrating ,

Today I feel better so it seems to have worked for now

My life my job has been affected by pain but for now it might be a bit better for a while,I also take butrans ,and pregabalin. Due to tablets ie tramadol irrational my stomach

I think everyone with chronic pain should try these if offered them ,as same with everything it's trial and error

Hopefully it works

All the best

To all xxx


To had steroid injections in my very worn out facet joints and it stirred up some additional p SaaS in. I had the tests for ablation and it was a fail for me. It stirred up some pretty significant pain that lasted a week . I didn't follow through to have the ablation. I still suffer having lost some twisting motion as well. I feel pretty hopeless except to have the facets replace. Mayo clinic said that people report 70 % failed on that procedure. It's extremely weight fussy meaning not one pound overweight before or after and if you do gain weight, it will collapse on you. Mayo has data on that. Consider replacement carefully if it comes to making that decision. In all fairness, l would have done the ablation in a heartbeat had the tests turned out for me. I'm quite miserable

As is right now.

Hi, Don't listen to negative feedback, we are in 2015. Ten years ago I would not here as technology has improved greatly.

"Go for it"


can ya have this for arthritis or fibromyalgia

I have had several, best relief I've had in 12 years. I had rhizotomy on both sides of c2/c3/c4/c5/c6. It has helped more than anything else. However, it didn't last the 6 months promised,

Best of luck

You may also like...