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Nerve Block, Steroids, or Facet Joint Injections: What’s the Difference?

Nerve Block, Steroids, or Facet Joint Injections: What’s the Difference?

With the variety of injections available to treat many different types of pain, it’s hard to distinguish one from another. At the Spine Institue of North America, we offer a variety of injections in order to best serve our patients, find them pain relief, and be as minimally invasive as possible. All of the injection procedures are similar in operation, they just provide different benefits and act on different mechanisms in order to provide you with the most tailored treatment possible. In order to help you understand the different injection options available, we’ve put together a handy guide below as to the differences and who each of the various types of injections can benefit. For further questions, schedule an appointment and talk with a specialist at SINA in New Jersey today.

Nerve Block Injections

A nerve block injection can be done anywhere along the spine. This particular injection targets the sympathetic nervous system and helps to reduce inflammation in nerves that branch from the spinal cord and the ganglia that is present at a particular location. Nerve blocks are a form of pain management as the substance that is injected numbs the nerves and helps to block pain signals. Regular injections may be necessary depending on the cause of the pain and your overall treatment plan.

Steroid Block Injections

Steroid injections, or large point injections, are different from nerve blocks only in that they provide a steroid medication in the injection versus an intense numbing agent. The goal of a steroid injection is to provide the joint and body with help to reduce inflammation in order to reduce pain. Steroid injections are not as frequent as nerve blocks or trigger point injections as your doctor will need to be cautious about how much steroid medication you are provided over a given length of time. These injections are exceptionally helpful for individuals who are younger and able to pursue physical therapy as a treatment option in conjunction with injections.

Facet Joint Injections

Facet joint injections are a type of steroid inject that is administered to a very specific set of joints. The upper part of your spine, known as the cervical vertebrae, has two specific points on each segment that rest on one another. These are known as facets. These facets can become inflamed and cause severe neck pain. Steroid injections directly into these joints of concern can help relieve both inflammation and pain in the neck.

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections are unique from the other injections above as they are injected directly into painful soft tissue, versus a joint. Trigger point injections use both numbing agents and steroids to relieve pain and help release the tension in the soft tissue.

Why Choose SINA?

The Spine Institute of North America is an optimal choice for all your injection needs in order to relieve musculoskeletal pain. With a focus on patient care and satisfaction, you can trust that our experts are ready to help you find pain relief from all your back related concerns. Schedule your consultation with SINA today.

26 responses to “Nerve Block, Steroids, or Facet Joint Injections: What’s the Difference?”

  1. Greetings,
    I need to know what is the different between facet injections/rhizolysis and cortisone and steroid injections.

    • Hi there! Facet injections and epidural steroid injections are used depending on the condition. For sciatica, steroid injections are typically used. For degenerative conditions, facet injections are what are usually the solution! For more information feel free to give us a call!

  2. I had spine block in my neck but this didnt work may it stiff and just as pain full ,what other choices do I have plz

    • Hi Teresa! Thanks for reaching out. Please feel free to fill out our contact form or give us a call to discuss!

  3. I had steroid injections in my head for headaches and nerve pain. Soon after I started having weird side effects such as a severe jitter problem to where I’m having body tremors, and dry mouth, are these normal side effects from steroid injections or should I b concerned?

    • Hey Kay! Depending on your medical history and any allergies, we’d like to chat about this to learn more and provide an accurate response. Please feel free to give us a call.

  4. Bulging disc and herniated 8n L2-4.
    Spinal stenosis in my neck and back. Frequent ESI’s in my lower back, nothing seems to work, but desperately repeat 2x a ye.
    I keep asking for a cervical procedure as well. But I guess I’m not a good candidate?
    Would Nerve Blocking give me better relief for both areas? I’ve been living in excruciating pain for almost 10 yrs. It’s getting worse!
    Jill P.

  5. In June I had a severe case of Shingles in the Left hip joint with radiation to the buttock and groin area. I could not sit or walk for over two months. The itching and neuropathy is still very much alive after almost ten months. I long for relief and would welcome suggestions.

    • Hi Sofia! We are so sorry to hear about the pain you’ve been experiencing. We’d love to chat more about this with you to see how we could help. Feel free to give us a call.

  6. I had shoulder surgery in January then 6 weeks ago I turned to get out of bed and strained my SCM muscle this happened to me three times when I moved my head. The pain is extreme, had some massage, and one set of acupuncture but no relief. Hope you can help me.

  7. I have two different medical opinions s on my lumbar spinal stenosis
    opinion 1
    (1) Go for epidural steroid injection
    (2) if it does not work ,go for transformational root block injection

    opinion 2
    Go for facet injection because pin does not radiate .It is only in the thigh.So it is not from a nerve but fro arthritis.

    What is right?And is facet injection ,same as the root block injection?

    • Hey there! We would want to make sure we have some more information to best provide our recommendation for you, Raman! Please give us a call and we can chat!

  8. I fractured L1 two years ago. I have had some relief with the steroid injection. Now I am scheduled for a nerve block. What is the difference?

  9. Hello I am unsure if I have cervical facet disease or a pinched nerve. My question Would a nerve block work if the pain is facet related

  10. Ihave a neck problem they can’t operate on and I have severe spasms in back of head and under shoulder blades !
    I have had nerve blocks and didn’t do any good , a trigger point injection helped some , what should I do I’m on neurontin and muscle relaxers but I still spasm eased it some I suffer all time !

  11. I have spinal stenosis since 2005 the only thing that helped with the pain was 180mg of morphine but because of the missuse by people my doctor will only prescribe 90mg per day which does not help. In the last 3 months I have had 2 epidurals, facet injections, and the abalations done by a pain specialist and have no relief from the pain. I am 84 and in farily good health. What other options are available to me.

  12. Hi ,
    I am very athletic 61 year old female..an have been diagnosed with spondylosis I also have a few bulging disk.. but my major discomfort has been an awful burning stabbing pain at L2-L3. For 1 year now…I did have extreme spasms for 4 months but they’ve slowly disappeared. I cannot lay on my back on a hard surface. I am in a doctors care. I did have an injection with no relief. I’d like to do a crunch or turn at the waist..can u help? So frustrating, my doctor thinks it will go away

    • Hey Karen! We’d love to chat more about this with you! Can you please reach out via phone or contact form? Thanks!

  13. I just had my first test block yesterday. They said they were giving me a steroid with it. Why do I feel like my heart is racing and have the major shakes with high Anxiety after? This has happened before.

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