03 Jan Epidural Injections vs. Facet Injections: Understanding the Difference
Do you suffer from chronic pain in your back? If so, you may consider epidural or facet injections as a treatment option. Facet injections involve injecting medicine into the facet joints of your spine, while epidural injections inject medicine into the epidural space surrounding your spine.
While both treatments require a needle to be inserted around your spinal column, they have different functions and effects. Read on to understand the differences between epidural and facet injections.
What Are Face Injections and How Do They Work?
Facet injections are a type of steroid injection used to reduce inflammation and pain in the spine’s joints. The injection consists of corticosteroid medication and an anesthetic injected directly into the target area. This targeted approach helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain in specific areas without affecting other body parts.
When the injection is given, it helps reduce inflammation and relax muscles which can help relieve pain. Pain relief from facet injections can last for several weeks or months, depending on the severity of the condition. Some conditions treated by facet injections include degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, sciatica, spinal arthritis, and facet syndrome.
What Are Epidural Injections and How Do They Work?
Epidural steroid injections are used to reduce inflammation and pain in the spine caused by a range of different conditions. These injections use a combination of a corticosteroid (such as dexamethasone or triamcinolone) and a local anesthetic to target inflammation in the epidural space, which is the area around the spinal cord. The steroid helps reduce inflammation, while the anesthetic relieves pain. The injection contents are delivered through a needle inserted into the epidural space in the lower back.
These injections aim to reduce pain and inflammation so that a person can return to daily activities and manage their condition with less pain. It’s important to note that epidural steroid injections do not treat the leading cause of spine disorder or injury.
Which One Should You Choose?
The type of injection that is right for your pain management needs depends on the source, location, and severity of your pain. Your physician will examine you and recommend the most suitable option based on their findings. Both epidural steroid injections and facet joint injections help relieve inflammation and provide temporary relief from chronic neck or back pain. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which type of injection is best for you:
- Epidural steroid injections are more effective at relieving pain in the lower back and legs, while facet joint injections target specific spine areas.
- Epidurals are generally preferred for those who experience radiating pain down their extremities.
- Facet joint injections are better suited for those with localized pain in a specific spine area.
- Epidurals may provide longer-lasting relief, while facet joint injections can be repeated more often if necessary.
Your physician will work with you to determine the best injection for your particular condition. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and your physician will help guide you to the best outcome for your recovery and comfort.
Facet injections are typically administered directly into the facet joints to provide targeted local relief in cases of facet joint arthritic pain.