Facet Joint Denervation
Pain specialists often adopt a different form of treatment for the management of more chronic facet joint pain. If injections are of benefit but only on a temporary basis, then an alternative means of reducing pain transmission of the facet joints is to block, stun, freeze or burn the small nerves which carry pain messages from the facet joints to the brain. This can be done locally in the spine by injection techniques and does not require any form of surgical incision.
This process, which is called denervation, only interferes with the transmission of pain impulses from the facet joint as the small nerves which supply the pain messages only carry pain sensations. They do not carry impulses required to make muscles contract nor do they supply sensation in other vital organs such as the bladder or bowel. Interrupting these nerve pathways by denervation is often very effective giving some patients significant pain relief.