People diagnosed with facet syndrome often wonder if recovery is possible without surgery. While every person is different, many are able to manage symptoms through conservative treatments recommended by their doctor without having to resort to surgery. The following overview of nonsurgical therapies can help you become a more involved and engaged patient, working more closely with your doctor to find the treatment for the quality of life you deserve.
Conservative therapies are often effective
The goal of conservative treatment is to improve range of motion while relieving pain and other symptoms this condition can cause. Because facet syndrome is a form of arthritis that develops in the facet joints of the spine, many common arthritis treatments — such as pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications and heat/ice therapy — can provide relief. Other effective nonsurgical treatments for facet syndrome include:
- Resting for a short period of time, especially in between activities, such as walking or doing housework, which worsen symptoms
- Avoiding postures or motions that trigger symptoms
- Stretching and strengthening exercises that strengthen the core muscles to provide better support for the neck and back
- Lifestyle changes like better nutrition, posture improvement and quitting smoking may be recommended
- Physical therapy
- Alternative therapies such as yoga, therapeutic massage and chiropractic care
A combination of these treatments often provides enough relief that a patient can comfortably resume everyday activities and does not need to consider surgical options. If facet syndrome symptoms do not respond to conservative treatment or become severe enough that the patient can no longer participate in daily activities, it may be necessary to evaluate surgical options.
Different types of surgery may be recommended
Patients who are recommended for surgery often consider minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative to traditional open neck or open back operations. In contrast to the large incision, muscle disruption, hospital stay and long recovery typically required for traditional procedures, minimally invasive spine surgery involves a smaller incision and muscle-sparing techniques, which allow for the possibility of an outpatient procedure with a shorter recovery time.^
USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Since 2005 we have helped more than 60,000 patients find relief from neck or back pain caused by conditions such as facet syndrome. To learn more and find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to USA Spine Care today for a no-cost MRI review.*