Many of you know that I have been suffering from occipital neuralgia for several years, and have tried everything from physical therapy to acupuncture (you can read more about my acupuncture journey here) to trigger point injections to facet joint injections.
The next step is a procedure called a radiofrequency nerve ablation (here is a medical link that explains the procedure). Basically this means that I will get the nerves in my neck burned off...it sounds way worse than it actually is, at least according to my doctor. Here's the catch, in order for medical insurance to pay for the radiofrequency nerve ablation, I first need to have two identical, successful facet joint procedures done.
I had my first set of injections done in Nov 2013 (which I documented here, here, and here), and another done just a few weeks ago. The first time I had facet joint injections, the procedure almost gave me a panic attack, I was pretty sore for many days after, and they didn't give me the lasting pain relief that I had hoped for. I did not want to try them again, even though my doctor wanted me to give them another shot (pun intended!).
The problem is that the facet injections I had done a few weeks ago were done at different points in my neck in hopes that I would get better results. And the results were better this time around, but the pain relief only lasted about a week. Doc says that as long as I got relief, even for a short amount of time, that the chances of the radiofrequency nerve ablation neck procedure working are much better. That really is a mouthful.
So, today I go for my second (even though it's really my third overall) round of facet joint injections, in the adjusted spots. Wish me luck! I'll try to document these and report back. The really short version of the procedure from a few weeks ago...I was sore for a few days, but overall it was a much easier procedure (less painful) and quicker recovery. My doc prescribed valium for my anxiety, which helped a lot, and I have another prescription for today's visit :) Let's hope the relative ease of last time wasn't a fluke and I get similar results this time!