Back pain can have a dramatic impact on our ability to work or enjoy ourselves.
A steroid injection can help treat relieve the symptoms of one major type of back pain: deterioration or other damage to the facet joints that link the bones in our back together.
Facet injections can help reduce inflammation and pain while allowing you to move more freely.
Back pain and related symptoms can interfere with our lives while often attracting little sympathy.
Facet back pain gets worse if you sit for very long – something that causes particular problems for people with office jobs.
As well as being one of the main reasons people take time off work, back pain can prevent you:
Facet pain is caused by deterioration or other damage to the facet joints that link together the bones in your back. Spondylolisthesis can also be a contributing factor in facet pain. The joint becomes inflamed and it is this inflammation that causes the pain. You are more likely to be affected if you are older but it can also affect young people. Some people sustain facet bone damage playing sport, for example.
The procedure takes around 20 minutes, including time for a local anaesthetic to take effect.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that having any medical procedure, even one as common and straightforward as a fact joint injection, can cause anxiety. Our dedicated and experienced staff will be there to reassure you throughout.
You’ll lie on your stomach for the injection and your expert consultant will clean your lower back with an antiseptic wipe. They’ll then give you a local anaesthetic which numbs the lower back but does not cause drowsiness.
Your doctor will use live X-ray images enhanced by a contrast/dye injected into your back to identify the painful facet joint. He or she will then inject the medication.
Our clinicians might monitor you for a few minutes to make sure you're fine to leave the hospital. Typically, you’ll walk out around 20 minutes after you lie down.
You'll be able to leave hospital within a few minutes of the 20 minute procedure ending.
You should rest for the remainder of the day.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.