notes (if applicable):
|Why this is important:- Many invasive procedures are performed on people with persistent
non-specific low back pain. These are usually undertaken after the condition has lasted a long time (more than 12 months). Procedures such as facet joint injections and radiofrequency lesioning are performed regularly in specialist pain clinics. There is evidence that pain arising from the facet joints can be a cause of low back pain, but the role of specific therapeutic interventions remains unclear. Case studies provide some evidence for the effectiveness of facet joint injections and medial branch blocks, but randomised controlled trials give conflicting evidence.
Robust trials, including health economic evaluations, should be carried out to determine the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of invasive procedures â?? in particular, facet joint injections and radiofrequency lesioning. These should include the development of specific criteria for patient selection and a comparison with non-invasive therapies.