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Facet disease treatment: what to expect

For patients diagnosed with this condition and seeking relief, there are several different approaches to facet disease treatment. Conservative treatments are usually recommended by doctors first and intended to relieve symptoms, improve mobility and make needed lifestyle changes. Complementary or alternative treatments that are outside the medical mainstream may also be pursued. Although typically only recommended as a last resort, surgical treatment may be recommended to relieve severe symptoms that aren’t responding to conservative treatments.

Before beginning treatment, it can be beneficial to review each treatment option and develop realistic expectations for the benefits it may be able to provide, as well as any limitations it might have. The following information can help you work with your doctor on a more informed basis to form a treatment plan with the best chance of success for you and your lifestyle.

The goals of conservative treatment

A physician will likely recommend conservative therapies as the first course of facet disease treatment. These treatments can often relieve pain, stiffness, muscle spasms and other symptoms that may result from the condition.

Each conservative facet disease treatment works in a different way. For instance:

  • Medications help reduce inflammation and alter the body’s perception of pain.
  • Heat/ice therapy helps improve circulation and blood flow while dulling localized pain.
  • Physical therapy strengthens the muscles that support the spine while improving flexibility and range of motion.
  • Facet joint injections numb a painful facet joint while reducing inflammation.

These options can be highly effective but the benefits are often temporary. Patients will likely need to develop a plan that includes several different options and repeat it as necessary. Lifestyle changes like weight loss, posture improvement, eating better and quitting smoking can also benefit spine health and help with long-term relief.

Some patients also choose to incorporate complementary therapies into their treatment plans. It should be noted that options such as chiropractic care, yoga and therapeutic massage have not been conclusively proved to be effective forms of facet disease treatment but many people do report a positive impact. Ask your doctor about the compatibility of any new treatment you seek with your existing care.

If nonsurgical treatment doesn’t produce the desired results

Even though many people are able to achieve significant pain relief through conservative and complementary therapies, some do require surgical treatment to address degeneration in their facet joints.

At USA Spine Care, we provide minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back procedures.  Contact us today to learn more about our options for outpatient facet disease treatment.

Our caring and dedicated team will be happy to help you receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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