If you’re like many Americans who suffer from chronic pain, you may be wondering about ways to achieve long-lasting pain relief. If pain is caused by injury or arthritis and the pain is located in your neck or back, ask your doctor about injection therapy for pain management.
Injection therapy is an effective, non-surgical way to improve pain, functionality, and quality of life. If used correctly, injections can provide lasting relief for severe and chronic pain and reduce reliance on pain medication. The two most widely used therapeutic injections are facet blocks and nerve blocks. While both are used for pain relief, there are differences between the two.
A facet block is an injection of an anesthetic and steroid into the facet joints located in the neck or back. Facet blocks are used for pain relief from musculoskeletal injuries and conditions such as arthritis that the spine components are susceptible to. The combination reduces inflammation in the facet joint space. Facet blocks are both diagnostic and therapeutic. If a patient does not experience relief from the facet block, it means the pain may be originating from somewhere else. Therefore, it is often used as a diagnostic tool, as well. Facet blocks are outpatient procedures that take less than 20 minutes to complete. The injection is often guided by fluoroscopy or CT scan for precision, and the patient can return to normal life as soon as the appointment is over.
Also called neural blocks, nerve blocks provide immediate relief. They block pain signals that are coming from specific nerves and inhibit the action of certain enzymes that cause neural pain and irritation. As a result, the pain signals decrease and patients experience an improvement in their symptoms.
Nerve blocks can be used to manage different types of pain, including arthritis pain, cancer pain, low back pain, pain from trigeminal neuralgia, and chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Similar to facet blocks, fluoroscopy guidance may be used to ensure the nerve block is administered in the right area. Chronic pain patients who receive nerve block injections are able to return to normal activities that make life worth living, thereby improving overall quality of life.
Facet blocks and nerve block injections enable patients to take an active role in physical therapy, which can enhance and extend the effects of the treatment. Another benefit of injection therapy is that it has fewer risks of complications than surgery.
Orthopaedic Doctor in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol, TN
Are you ready to say goodbye to debilitating pain? You may be a good candidate for facet blocks and nerve block injections. At Watauga Orthopaedics, we specialize in advanced bone and joint care, and offer the latest in orthopedic treatments, including pain management therapies. Our orthopedic surgeons take a personalized approach to treatment, especially when it comes to pain since no two cases are the same.
If you have questions about our services or would like to schedule an appointment, call (423) 282-9011 or use our convenient online request form. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you in any of our three locations in northeast Tennessee.