Although it can be disheartening to receive a facet disease diagnosis, many patients find they are able to continue enjoying their favorite activities by following treatment recommendations and making necessary lifestyle changes. While some things are likely to change and there can be good days and bad days, many people living with facet disease are able to report a good quality of life.
Finding an effective facet disease treatment plan
Perhaps the most important thing people with facet disease can do is follow a doctor-approved conservative treatment routine. This may take several weeks of trial and error. Different people respond to treatments in different ways and what works for one patient may not work for another.
A high number of people with facet disease are able to manage their symptoms through a combination of over-the-counter medications, exercises, physical therapy sessions, facet joint injections and other conservative treatments. On days where symptoms are stronger than usual, options such as hot/cold therapy and prescription painkillers may also help. Some people choose to incorporate complementary therapies such as chiropractic care and therapeutic massage into their treatment plans.
Lifestyle changes may be necessary
Using a combination of these conservative treatments, many people are able to manage symptoms and improve the health of their spine. It is also beneficial to make changes to your daily routine in order to minimize the effects of facet disease:
- Gradually stretching out the muscles and joints first thing in the morning, when stiffness and pain are usually at their worst
- Avoiding activities that involve bending and twisting motions that place added stress on the facet joints
- Reducing or eliminating the use of alcohol and tobacco products to improve the body’s overall health
- Committing to a regular low-impact exercise routine to gradually build up strength, mobility and flexibility
- Improving posture
- Following a weight-loss plan if it is believed that being overweight or obese is contributing to symptoms
While many people are able to live with facet disease without ever needing surgery, others are unable to find the relief they need despite conservative treatments and lifestyle changes. If you’ve had limited success with nonsurgical treatments and are considering your surgical options, USA Spine Care can help you determine if minimally invasive spine surgery would be right for you. Our team of board-certified surgeons+ perform these procedures on an outpatient basis, leading to many advantages when compared to traditional open spine surgery.
For a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to USA Spine Care today.