Center for Pain Management

Cervical Facet Block and Steroid Injection

There are two major reasons to perform a Cervical Facet Block and Steroid Injection:

  1. To determine whether facet joints (small stabilizing joints between vertebrae) are causing pain symptoms in the neck, shoulder and/or arm.

  2. To provide temporary pain relief.

While these goals are usually achieved, the level and length of pain relief varies by patient, and performing the procedure does not guarantee that the cause of your pain will be identified.

What to Expect

The procedure takes about 30 minutes. The radiologist will use fluoroscopy to ensure correct injection placement. Two different medications will be injected at the same time. The first, a short-acting anesthetic agent, is injected for diagnostic information. Pain relief from this medication will wear off in about 1 – 2 hours. The second medication—an anti-inflammatory steroid—will provide longer-term pain relief and will begin working after 1 – 2 days.

During the injection, you may feel pressure or mild discomfort that lasts for several seconds. After the procedure, the short-acting anesthetic can make your arms feel numb or weak for a few hours, so you should minimize activity for 2 – 3 hours. You can leave immediately after your procedure is performed if you have someone to assist you home.


Schedule a Cervical Facet Block and Steroid Injection.

Click here to download questionnaire with additional information