The facet joints of the spine allow for movement side to side and forward and back. Medial branch nerves are nerves that intertwine within these joints. The goal of a facet joint block (medial branch nerve block) is to relieve inflammation to the nerves and surrounding area.
You should rest and limit your activity for 8 hours after a facet block injection. Do not drive for 2-3 hours after the injection. Remember, you have received a nerve block and you must be careful until the local anesthetic (numbing medicine) has worn off.
After the numbness has worn off, your pain may return. The injection site may be a little sore or tender the next day. This is expected. You may use a moist heating pad or warm towel to the area of soreness. If you develop pain that is a concern to you, please contact our office.
You may resume your normal activities the next day. The steroids injected into the facet area of your spine will take 2-7 days to take effect and decrease your pain. Do not become discouraged. You may notice a big improvement or it may be a more subtle improvement such as getting out a chair with less discomfort or walking with less discomfort. This means the steroids are working and reducing the inflammation around the nerves.