Facet disease treatment generally focuses on relieving pain and improving function lost due to this condition, a form of osteoarthritis of the spine. While no treatment can halt the progression of facet disease, there are many proven methods for effectively managing its symptoms so they do not become debilitating. In fact, many patients with facet disease are able to return to healthy active lifestyles without undergoing surgery.
However, before attempting any form of facet disease treatment, it is essential to seek an accurate diagnosis from a qualified health care professional. The symptoms of facet disease are very similar to those of several other conditions so it’s vital to precisely identify the underlying cause of the pain in order to ensure the most successful treatment.
Treatment options for facet disease
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, a physician can recommend appropriate treatment strategies, which may include:
- Conservative approaches. A physician will likely suggest physical therapy as part of a well-rounded rehabilitation program designed to ease pain, reduce inflammation, improve mobility and enhance strength. Physical therapy may incorporate the use of ice to decrease blood flow to the affected area of the spine and further reduce swelling. Medications, stretching and massage therapy can also be helpful. Once the pain subsides to the point exercise is possible, light aerobic activity, such as walking or swimming, can promote joint mobility, flexibility and strength.
- Spinal injections. Sometimes guided by detailed X-ray images, a physician can inject a numbing medication along with cortisone or another steroidal medication directly into an inflamed facet joint. Pain relief is usually immediate and can last up to several months. If the pain returns, this facet disease treatment procedure can be repeated.
- Surgery. Surgical intervention may be considered if other treatment methods are unable to provide lasting relief, or if symptoms worsen. If this is the case, a patient is encouraged to explore all options. At USA Spine Care, our surgeons perform minimally invasive spine surgery. One of our procedures is called a facet thermal ablation that involves accessing an arthritic facet joint and deadening painful nerve endings. All of our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with less risk of complication when compared to traditional open neck or back procedures.
Minimally invasive outpatient treatments
At USA Spine Care our entire medical team is committed to patient-centered care, including our team of board-certified surgeons. To learn more about minimally invasive facet disease treatment, contact USA Spine Care today.
Our team will be glad to help you receive a no-cost review of your MRI* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.