Facet Joint Syndrome: Treatment Is Focused on Relieving Your Pain
Facet syndrome is pain that stems from the facet joints in the back. It occurs when these joints are inflamed and cause stiffness, pain, and soreness. Usually, your pain can increase when you sit or stand for a long time. Your pain may improve when you change positions.
The pain associated with facet joint syndrome in Shrewsbury may feel worse in the morning after being inactive for hours. But, it will improve once you move around throughout the day.
How Facet Syndrome Occurs
Facet syndrome can develop because of trauma like a neck injury. The facet joints can be overloaded because of abnormal postures. Also, degenerative changes in your thoracic, cervical, and lumbar spine can result in abnormal stress and strain, increasing loads on your facet joints.
How to Know You Have Facet Syndrome
You can feel neck facet syndrome at the base of your upper or mid-back, neck, skull, or shoulders. You may also experience frequent headaches if you have this condition. You can feel localized pain near the impacted joint-segment if you have thoracic facet syndrome. Lumbar facet joint syndrome can cause pain in the buttocks, groin, hips, and back of your thighs.
How Face Syndrome Is Diagnosed
When you visit a spine specialist for a consultation, they will diagnose your pain or symptoms. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and collect your health history. Also, they will ask you to share how often you feel the symptoms and what triggers them. If your doctor suspects you have facet syndrome, they will obtain diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
How to Treat Facet Syndrome
Facet syndrome can be treated conservatively by correcting your posture, performing soft tissue massage, and manipulating the affected areas. Osteopathic experts and physical therapists can restore movement and normal function in the affected facet joints. Often, treatments include taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation and muscle relaxers to minimize local muscle spasms.
If conservative treatments do not work, doctors can administer facet joint injections or steroid medications to localize and minimize facet joint pain. Doctors will perform this with the guidance of fluoroscopic X-rays. Should your facet pain temporarily improve with injections, your doctor may suggest further treatment options like radiofrequency ablation.
It is important to keep in mind that damaged facet joints cannot heal. But, there is a chance for relief. Medications, injections, and physical therapy can help manage your pain.