Facet Injections for Lower Back Pain and Obesity

Facet Injections for Lower Back Pain and Obesity

Chronic lower back pain and obesity are two common medical conditions. Generally, lower back pain is extremely common in obese patients. These patients have symptoms like adverse fat distribution and multiple secondary disorders, including low back pain. Obesity is defined as being 30% over ideal weight, which influences normal body mechanics as well as recovery from an injury. Because obese patients are at a higher risk of disability compared to a patient with normal weight, obesity has been described as a major factor in persistent low back pain. Large proportions, 15% to 45%, of patients suffering from chronic low back pain, have problems with their facet joints. Injections in these joints can lead to a reduction of pain in the lower back, helping obese patients find relief from the strain on their joints.


How Does the Injection Work?


The injection of local anesthetic and/or steroids into the facet joint is a treatment for patients who believe the facet joint is the cause of the symptoms of their lower back pain. The injection will be inserted into the facet joints, which are located on each side of the vertebra and connect the vertebra of the back together. The injection helps to reduce inflammation in the tissue of the facet joint. The injection is performed with the patient lying on his or her abdomen. The area of the skin where the medication will be injected is cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic. With the help of a live x-ray, the doctor injects a mixture of local anesthetic and steroid medication into the joint. After the injection, you should rest for 24 hours to ensure safety. After the first injection, wait two weeks and then return for a second or third injection. You can receive 3 injections in a 6-month time period. Facet injections will not cure your lower back pain but can provide relief from chronic pain without surgical intervention.

Facet injections will not cure your lower back pain, but can provide relief from chronic pain without surgical intervention

Further Research Is Needed


It has been suggested that more well-designed, controlled trials are needed to understand the therapeutic uses of facet joint injections and provide true evidence for their role. Future studies must look at short- and long-term pain relief, the benefit to quality of life of patients undergoing this therapy, the opportunities for rehab, pain relief offered near the patient, and how much the procedure costs patients. Facet joint mediated pain is a common occurrence in obese patients, but it can help both obese and non-obese patients find relief from chronic lower back pain.

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