Cervical Facet

A cervical facet (FAS-et) block is a procedure to inject medicines at facet joints in the cervical (neck) area of your spine (backbone). This procedure is done to decrease inflammation (swelling) and pain from these facet joints. The swelling of these joints may cause long-standing pain in your neck, shoulders, or arms. The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae that are like blocks placed on top of each other. The spine protects the spinal cord, and nerves coming to and from the spinal cord. Facet joints are found at the back of each vertebrae, one pair facing upward, the other facing downward. They have nerves inside and around them that may cause pain when they are damaged or pinched. The cervical facet joint is often damaged in a whiplash injury or after spinal surgery on the neck. During the procedure, a thin needle is inserted along the cervical spine to the facet joint. Your caregiver will first inject a small amount of anesthesia (numbing medicine). He may then inject medicine for inflammation. With a cervical facet block, your long-standing neck or shoulder pain may be treated, and you may resume your usual activities.