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Cervical Facet Injections (Neck Injection)

What is a cervical facet injection?

This type of injection is used to treat facet joint pain located in the neck region. When these joints are injured, they can cause pain in the back of the neck, back of the head and even the shoulders. Neck pain from injured facet joints can be caused by trauma such as whiplash or from arthritis that occurs with aging. A simple injection called a cervical facet injection can be done to specifically target the joints in the neck that are causing the neck pain. 

Who is a candidate for cervical facet injections?

Facet joint pain presents in a specific pattern depending on which facets are involved. Those that could benefit from cervical facet injections have symptoms that include:

  • Neck pain when looking up or down

  • Neck pain when turning the head side to side

  • Headaches that begin in the back of the head and radiate up the scalp towards the forehead

  • Stiffness in the neck region

  • Neck pain that radiates to the shoulder blades

What to expect during the procedure?

This procedure is extremely safe especially when done by our St. Louis Spine and Joint Pain doctors who have all had formal training in these injections. An x-ray machine called a c-arm is used to locate the facet joints. After they are identified, the skin is numbed and a small needle is directed to the facet joints. The right location is confirmed with the x-ray machine and medication containing a powerful anti-inflammatory steroid and more numbing medicine is injected into the facet joint. Most people notice a significant decrease in their neck pain immediately after the injection as well as less stiffness in their neck. Improvement of neck pain after the procedure helps to confirm that the facet joints are the source of the pain.

For more information or to discuss an appropriate treatment plan for your neck pain with one of our specialized pain management physicians, call Saint Louis Spine and Joint Pain Specialists today.

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