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Facet Joint or Nerve Root Injections are performed to treat pain – most commonly in the neck, back and legs.
The human spine is made up of a number of bones stacked on top of each other, supported by ligaments and muscles. These bones are called vertebrae. The little joints that link each vertebra together are known as facet joints. They help to stabilise the spine and allow movement.
Facet joints occur in pairs along the length of your spine. The ones that most often cause problems are in the neck (cervical facet joints) or the lower back (lumbar facet joints). There may be a problem with more than one set of joints due to wear and tear, injury, inflammation, or previous disc problems.
The effect of these injections is different for each individual. The procedure involves an injection of local anaesthetic either directly into the joint or to the path of the small nerve which supplies sensation to the joint. The injection of long-acting corticosteroids at the same time can reduce inflammation and can often provide long-term relief.