What’s the Difference Between Facet Injections and Trigger Point Injections?

Many patients suffering from severe, chronic pain can benefit from certain forms of targeted injections. While many people may have heard of both trigger point injections and facet injections, they may not really understand the differences, or the potential benefits of each form of therapy.

Both kinds of treatments are non-surgical and provide a form of interventional pain management that can be used in concert with other long-term pain management treatments to allow patients to resume as much of a normal life as possible.

The main difference between facet injections and trigger point injections is that facet injections are used to deliver an anti-inflammatory medication directly into the spinal facet joint to reduce pain and inflammation, while trigger point injections are targeted to block muscle spasms and break the pain cycle.

When muscles are chronically tense or in almost constant spasm, they become inflamed and irritated. This, in turn, sets off more spasms. The cycle can be short-circuited by a trigger point injection, which temporarily blocks the muscles ability to contract, thus allowing the muscle to become calm.

Facet injections, on the other hand, are designed to block the pain signals that feed into the facet joint. The injections themselves are guided by the use of fluoroscopy, often with a contrast dye, to create an X-ray “movie” in real time. This allows the physician to pinpoint the target area, while advancing the needle, which is also visible in great detail, on a video monitor system.

Other Forms of Non-Surgical Pain Management

In addition to facet and trigger point injections, patients may also benefit from sacroiliac joint injections to relieve chronic low back and leg pain, spinal cord stimulation, which utilizes electrical pulses to mask pain signals, and sympathetic nerve blocks which target sympathetic nerves that are not functioning properly.

Other treatments may include epidural steroid injections which are used to treat lumbar, thoracic and cervical pain by administering powerful steroids in precise doses via an epidural. This treatment works by reducing the inflammation and irritation of the root nerves responsible for the pain and stiffness. May patients report a dramatic decrease in pain for weeks or even months after the procedure.

Pain injections are performed on an outpatient basis. Most pain injection procedures are quick and often begin to provide relief within one to two days. If, however, the procedure does not begin to reduce you pain levels, the doctor may recommend an additional treatment session for another injection.

For more information about advanced forms of chronic pain treatment for injuries or degenerative diseases, or to request an appointment with one of our caring, highly skilled physicians, call 9725961059 for a pain management consultation today or request an appointment online. Get “back” to living pain free again. Find out how you can enjoy improved mobility with advanced pain relief injections today.

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