Facet joints connect the vertebrae in your neck and low back to one another. Facet joints are like any other joint in your body. They have cartilage that line the joint, (allowing bones to glide smoothly), and a capsule surrounding the joint.
Facet joint problems are located in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine areas. When the facet joints are affected, a person can experience lower back or neck pain.
Diagnosing facet joint disease in the neck or low back begins with a medical history, physical examination and imaging. Symptoms are treated with medications and physical therapy. Patients not improving with those treatments may benefit from a cervical or lumbar facet joint nerve block. This injection "blocks" the pain the same way a dentist uses an anesthetic to block pain in your jaw before working on your teeth. Successful facet injections indicate that you could benefit from a facet joint nerve radiofrequency ablation. This is an injection with a needle that uses heat to destroy the nerve fibers in your low back or neck that carry pain signals to the brain. This injection can relieve the pain. Midtown Neurology is fully equipped for the above procedures and is happy to assist you should you have these symptoms.
Aashish Bharara, MD
Midtown Neurology, P.C.
Aashish Bharara, MD is a Board Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician with a fellowship in interventional spine management.