Facet Joint Syndrome
(Spinal Arthritis) Treatment
Are you suffering from muscle spasms or extreme joint pain? These are just two of the many symptoms of facet joint syndrome (also referred to as spinal arthritis).
Many people may not have even heard of this condition, but it is real and we offer conservative treatment for spinal arthritis here at The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia.
Want to learn more? Please keep reading.
What is Facet Joint Syndrome?
In order to understand the condition, you must first know that facet joints are the small connections located between the spine’s bones. The joints prevent excess movement, and in doing so, help to prevent injuries and protect the spinal cord. The facet joints also allow us to twist our back, look around, and perform daily tasks.
Just like other parts of the spine, the facet joints deteriorate over time (injury or trauma can also damage the facet joints). This deterioration can lead to many symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome
Patients who suffer from facet joint syndrome sometimes are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Friends and family may feel the patient is exaggerating as to how much pain he or she is feeling.
No doubt about it, though, the pain and the accompanying symptoms are real and should not be taken for granted. Symptoms include:
- joint pain
- burning sensation of the nerves in the back
- painful back when extending
- painful back when bending backward
- a popping noise that results in a painful back
- limited spinal muscle flexibility
- lower back pain
- pain in the buttocks area
- pain running down the back of the upper leg
- pain in the shoulders
- pain in the upper back
- muscle spasms
- pain that is worse in the morning and at the end of the day
- pain that hurts during a change in weather
- ringing in the ears
- headache at the base of the skull
- aching in the area behind your eyes
- weak or numb legs
- weak or numb arms
- pain that gets worse when standing, sitting, or riding in the car for extended periods of time
- abnormal spine curvature
A lot of patients experience recurrent episodes quite frequently. The timing of facet joint syndrome pain cannot be predicted. What causes all of these symptoms? That answer is next.
What Causes Facet Joint Syndrome?
Risk factors and causes of facet joint syndrome include:
- being overweight
- family history of facet joint syndrome
- overuse because of heavy labor work or sports
- diseases such as arthritis or gout
- injury (i.e. whiplash, sleeping with a twisted neck, spine trauma)
Treatment and Care Options
A few treatment options exist to help patients deal with spinal arthritis. In addition to surgery options for severe cases of facet joint syndrome, here are other treatments that may help:
- diagnostic nerve block
- radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
- face joint injection
- medial branch block
- radiofrequency neurotomy
- a well-rounded rehabilitation program
- physical therapy
- muscle stretching
- spinal injection
Managing and Living With Facet Joint Syndrome
Helping to lessen your pain and rehabilitate your back are two primary goals to manage and live with spinal arthritis. Here are a few good strategies:
- Always practice good posture when sitting or standing.
- Practice the exercises recommended by your doctor and/or physical therapist.
- Use heat and/or cold to lessen pain when necessary.
- Get chiropractic care if needed.
- Take anti-inflammatory medications if approved by your doctor.
- Take breaks during activities; pace yourself.
Resources and Tools: What Should You Do Now?
Do you think you are suffering from symptoms related to facet joint syndrome? Do you want to receive conservative care without the use of addictive medications or invasive surgery?
Call The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia today to schedule your first appointment. Our doctors are qualified and trained to deliver exceptional spinal arthritis treatment and care.