Facet joints are joints between two vertebral bones. They are arranged in the back part of your spine from the neck all the way down to your low back. They can be painful due to “whiplash” injuries of the neck, arthritis or degeneration in the low back. These joints may cause pain in and around the spine and can markedly limit how you use your neck or back.
When facet joints are painful, it can be difficult to bend the spine backward / sideways.
Each facet joint is served by medial branch nerves, and if these nerves are blocked with local anesthetic, the pain from the joints will stop. This is the only test to tell the doctor the pain is coming from facet joint. Once test is positive (i.e. you get more than 50%pain relief), radiofrequency ablation of medial branches will provide your lasting pain relief.