Facets are the small joints that are located between each vertebra, assisting in helping the spine and body move and twist. When these joints are injured or worn, they can cause pain and stiffness to varying degrees, depending on the damage. This is referred to as facet syndrome, which can occur in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions, resulting in discomfort and dysfunction for the patient.
Causes of Facet Syndrome
One of the main causes of facet syndrome is an injury or trauma. Whiplash or impact on the spine can cause damage to these joints. Other possible causes include ongoing poor posture pressure, degenerative disease or aging. Those with facet syndrome may have the following symptoms:
- Increased pain when doing one activity, such as standing or sitting for long periods
- Morning pain which improves with movement throughout the day
- Stiffness that is relieved with movement or changing activities
Facet syndrome is common, but it has wide spread symptoms. Some people may experience pain or stiffness in it their neck, base of the skull or shoulders; for others, it may be in the mid or lower back, radiating to the buttocks and hips.
Treatment for Facet Syndrome
There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments that can be effective for treating facet syndrome. Non-surgical facet syndrome treatment options include medications, massage and physical therapy. If these therapies are not effective, there are minimally-invasive endoscopic surgeries that can provide relief without the recovery time and risk of open back surgery.
If you have been suffering with facet syndrome, seek treatment from an orthopedic spine specialist. There are many options to give you relief and improve your functionality, often without the need for surgery.
Posted on behalf of:
Ortho Sport and Spine Physicians
5730 Glenridge Drive Northeast #230
Atlanta, GA 30328
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