Cervical Facet Joints | Neck & Back Pain

Cervical Facet JointsCervical Facet Joints (CFJ) are a common source of neck pain, back pain and painful muscular spasm.

The facet joints of the neck are responsible for allowing movement of the spine, such as flexion, extension and rotation. Conditions such as Advancing Arthritis, Scoliosis, Kyphosis, and Trauma ( such as a whiplash injury ) can predispose the patient to development of painful Cervical Facet Joint Arthropathy (Cervical Joint Disease).

Typical CFJ pain is located lateral to the midline of the Cervical spine worsening upon pressure, with severe muscular spasm in the general area. The pain can radiate to the referral zone of the facet level involved (ex.C3-4 FJ and C4-5 FJ radiates to neck, shoulder, upper arm and there is tingling without numbness) An associated Myofascial Pain Syndrome (painful muscular spasm) can develop which is very debilitating and can lead to deepening depression.

If Conservative therapy has failed to relieve your pain (including Medication, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic care, and/or Trigger Point injections) it is reasonable to perform Diagnostic Facet Joint Injections. Relief of pain by precise X-ray targeting of the joint or the nerve can confirm the diagnosis. This will lead to a better understanding about the source of your pain. Hopefully, by breaking the cycle of pain and reducing the joint inflammation, relief can be permanent.

Your Pain Doctor may design a Therapeutic Program to deal with residual or recurrent pain. This may include booster injections and other more permanent techniques.

The injections are minimally uncomfortable because we provide plenty of local anesthetic and may use “Twilight Sedation”. Complications are extremely rare but can occur; you may wish to discuss this with your doctor in more detail.

Pain in the neck can be caused by damage to structures in the neck area, such as Cervical discs, facets, ligaments, muscles and other tissue.  Accidents, strains, arthritis and other diseases can cause neck pain.