How can I know if facet joints are causing my back pain?
Facet joints are small joints up and down the spine that allow motion. They can develop arthritis like other joints and be a cause of pain. Facet blocks have been used to help doctors decide whether or not facet joints are a cause of neck or back pain. However, only half the time a single set of nerve blocks will be accurate in making the positive diagnosis of facet joint pain. If the first nerve block reduces pain by a significant amount such as 80 percent, it should be repeated. If the second one relieves pain also, then the facet joint(s) is considered positive as a source of neck or back pain.