When Do People Have Cervical Facet Joint Denervation Injections?
If you are going to have a cervical facet joint injection, to act as a way of blocking pain signals being transferred from the nerves in the cervical area then it is likely that you will have pain in the neck (literally). Sometimes the pain can be caused by the synovium in the neck, which is a rather soft membrane, becoming inflamed. When it is inflamed it causes pain that you certainly know about. Sometimes it can even cause there to be increased tightness in the area or for the neck to experience muscle spasm, which again is very painful.
Often the main reason for the synovium becoming inflamed is due to degeneration (often age related) within the cervical joints themselves. These joints are located at the top of the spine and basically help keep your neck supported. When these joints become worn, the result is pain and discomfort that can be felt in the neck, the shoulder or the arm.
Not all people experience degeneration to the same extent, so you can have two people who are the same age and one ahs significant levels of degeneration, but the other does not. So just because you experience degeneration in your cervical facet joints, it does not necessarily mean that the spine as a whole is degenerating.
Sometimes the cervical facet joints have had stress put upon them, which is often referred to as mechanical stress or even biomechanical stress. This means that the facet joints may have been put under pressure because you were (for example) holding your neck or the top of your spine in a certain way, because you had another medical condition that was causing you pain and to alleviate this pain, you ended up putting undue pressure onto your cervical facet joints.
An example of mechanical or biomechanical stress is when part of your foot is sore, so you walk on the part that isn’t sore, but when the sore part heals you then find it difficult to walk ‘normally’ again. This is because the foot has been put under stress when you walked on the non-painful area only.
Injury or ‘trauma’ is another reason why you may need to have a cervical facet joint injection to soothe the nerves. Often the trauma or injury has taken place some time ago and some patients find it difficult to remember the incident that may have caused trauma to the neck/top of the spine.
So you can have an accident one year, then not experience any significant problems with regard to the facet joints in the cervical area for some time.
The good news is that the procedure to stop the nerves signalling pain to the brain is a relatively simple procedure and one that can really help to free up the whole area at the top of the spine/neck. All it involves is a quick injection, carried out under local anaesthetic and the end result can be a dramatic improvement in both mobility and in satisfactory pain levels!