Facet joint injection: Hi all had bilateral... - Pain Concern

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Facet joint injection

Blue46 profile image

Hi all had bilateral facet joint injection in my lumbar .Very painful had me in tears went home felt ok tired but been up very early and mild stomach ache but I could sit a little longer no pain. Following day felt pain free did my yoga and cut grass Sat for longer than normal , worse stomach ache at night and very tired. Bam woke up in pain got up and pain as intensified. Does this mean it hasn't worked as previous day virtually pain free . Very upset this morning

10 Replies

can you telephone the lead nurse at the unit where you had the injection? They may be able to give you information about your stomach ache to see if it is related. Is it possible you did too much too soon with yoga and cutting the grass? Hope things are better for you soon.

When the pain is improved, it is advisable to start regular exercise and activities in moderation. Even if the pain relief is significant, it is still important to increase activities gradually over one to two weeks to avoid recurrence of pain.


It may just be the local anaesthetic wearing off, and it may take a bit of time for the steroid to properly kick in. It isn't normal however for facet joint injections to cause someone to cry.

Am very much feeling for you, jade. Am so glad you’ve got these helpful, kind replies. I’ve had these injections too and i know how tough the experience you’re having can be, so here is my story, for what it’s worth:

After neurosurgery’s MRIs proved i had no spinal cord or nerve root impingement, my NHS Pain Consultant gave me bilateral facet joint injections (as Diagnostic Blocks, so i’ll call these D.Bs) when we first began to work together on my chronic spine pain.

He said that if my pain responded positively but only briefly to these injections then he’d consider them to be D.B.s, and I would become a candidate for a more permanent procedure: Bilateral Facet Joint Denervations (aka Radiofrequency Ablations).

In my case, having the D.B.s injections gave me no pain, but i was very stiff & sore by the time i’d left his office, & as i headed home, i was a bit sorer. Like you, the following day was virtually pain free. The next day the pain returned with gusto

So, I did respond very positively to his D.B.s injections ie in a very similar way to the pos way you have responded: the pos response only lasted approx 24 hours. My Pain Consultant decided this response meant i met NHS criteria for the more permanent Denervations.

Over the years, he performed bilateral facet joint denervations to all my cervical, lumbar & sacral joints, twice at each level. Before he performed Denervations for the first time at a new part of the spine, he always had an MRI done, and then gave me the D.B.s injections, which i always briefly responded pos to

These procedures have been a Great Help to me: numbed my chronic spine pain after decades of disability & suffering. As a result my quality of life is Much Greater, and my Disability significantly less. I know i’m lucky, because all patients are different and not everyone reacts so positively

Here is a link to a top NHS Hospital’s info about facet joint denervations/radio frequency ablations procedures. Over the years, others have posted here about having these, so: apologies if you know about how the NHS uses facet joint injections as diagnostic criteria before letting you have these procedures, but maybe someone here reading your discussion doesn’t. This subject is very close to my heart, which explains why i’ve gone on so long...


Take care & good luck

🍀🍀🍀🍀 coco

LilAnnie5 profile image
LilAnnie5 in reply to Barnclown

Oh wow that sounds awesome! I wish I did have the same disorder as you, Barnclown. I can't imagine what it would be like to be finally pain free or at least more bareable.

My problem is chronic degenerative disc disease throughout my cervical, sacral and lumbar spine. For some reason it skipped over the thoratic spine. (go figure, but I'll take it). I have numerous bulging discs, osteoporosis, osteophytes, osteoarthritis, inflammation, etc., I had surgery 4 years ago for anterior cervical disc with fusion on C5-6. The disc was removed and a doner disc was put in and secured by a steel plate so the disc would fuse together.

It now appears I may need to have the same thing done to C4-5. The pain is so severe whether sitting, standing or laying down. It's extremely difficult to just turn my head from side to side.

Unfortunately, the eperdermal corticosteroid injections (yes they DO hurt, but I never make a peep) don't do anything to relieve the pain. It's incredible that in this day and age that there is NOTHING they can do for this daily EXCRUCIATING pain coupled with severe migraines! ARGH!

Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to LilAnnie5

Oh dear...lilannie: am feeling your pain...you are a very courageous person. Thanks for your reply! i know i’ve been VVVVVVV lucky to dodge actual full-on spine surgery & find other forms of treatment that are helping me as much as this (back in the 1990s neurosurgery at my univ hospital had me booked for double cervical discectomy, but i backed out at the last minute and was able to work with my Pain Consultant & rheumatologist instead...but even so i did spend years on clonazepam & meptazinol to cope with my version of spine pain, and now thank goodness my improved heavy daily combined infant onset Systemic Lupus meds are also helping minimise the inflammatory aspects of my spine pain...but i am devoted to this wonderful forum cause i still live every day with pain of some sort due to early onset overlapping immune dysfunction & connective tissue disorder illnesses) I hope advances in the science relating to your version of all this advances soon enough to help you to less pain & more quality of life before long! XOXO

LilAnnie5 profile image
LilAnnie5 in reply to Barnclown

Thank you, Barnclown! I hope so too. My Health Insurance finally okay'd a cervical MRI for me that my doctor has been fighting with them over for the past couple months. I'll be having it done next Saturday.

Hopefully, I will get a better outcome from whatever treatment I may be given. Assuming, that is, that I do receive any form treatment. The way the health system is today, who knows? I could be told it's just another thing I have to learn to live with like my fybermyalgia. Good grief! Hope all goes well for you!

Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to LilAnnie5

Thank You...& Good Luck: i’ll be thinking of you!

Blue46 profile image
Blue46 in reply to Barnclown

Thanks for all the info and reply barn clown don't see pain management till sept

Hi Blue, I tend to agree with the reply that said that day one might have left you pain free because the local anesthetic hadn't worn off yet, and by day 2 it had.

I have had epidural blocks, and also the injections you had in my neck, back, and 3 series of 19 injections each done on the entire right side rib area-(talk about a painful area yeeeoww lol), and only got some minor relief from them the very 1st day, after that I got no relief from them at all.

I did have 1 set of injections in my back that I was completely pain free for several days, but I was also incontinent those nights in my sleep too, and the doctor said that he had probably actually hit a wrong space, and inadvertently done a spinal block on me, but it was sure wonderful while it lasted, lol minus the peeing in the bed part. :) So I finally just stopped letting them do them because they just didn't help me at all.

I have since then had injections in my hand for severe carpal tunnel- (no help), and in my shoulder-which works wonderfully, and lasts for about 3 full months before the severe pain starts again, and I have to go back for another injection, so it's hard to tell what areas they will, and what areas they won't help until you try them there.

The procedure that Barnclown had done, my sister also had it done, and it has helped her a lot too. I'm not a candidate for them :( or I would have had them done also. You do have to be careful when having them done though because the pain isn't there to tell you that you're over working those areas. Good Luck I hope you find some relief soon because it's no fun at all having to live in constant pain.

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