Facet syndrome is a degenerative spine condition that can develop anywhere in the spinal column but is most commonly seen in the neck and lower back. This type of osteoarthritis can make regular movement of spinal joints painful and can seriously interfere with your quality of life. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many highly effective facet syndrome treatment techniques available to help manage the symptoms that accompany this condition.
Even if you are only experiencing mild or moderate neck or back pain, it is important not to ignore them and see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. With facet syndrome and other degenerative spine conditions, getting help as early as possible is a factor often associated with successful treatment.
The early warning signs of facet syndrome
Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage that normally lines a joint wears away and can result in bone-on-bone contact, which can lead to inflammation and local pain when left untreated. This type of arthritis can occur in almost any joint in the body, including the facet joints of the spine. Here are four warning signs of facet syndrome to be aware of:
- Local aches and pain. The most common symptom of facet syndrome is pain near the part of the spine affected by osteoarthritis. In some instances, this pain may radiate to other parts of the body, but more often than not it is contained in the area immediately surrounding the joint degeneration.
- Stiffness in the neck or back first thing in the morning. The symptoms of spinal arthritis tend to be more severe in the morning and can ease throughout the day as the muscles that surround the spine loosen. The problem is that patients may mistake their discomfort as a result of a poor night’s sleep when spinal degeneration is to blame.
- Discomfort during prolonged periods of inactivity. Arthritic pain also tends to worsen following a long stretch of inactivity, such as at the end of a workday sitting at a desk or after a long car ride.
- The sensation of bone rubbing against bone when you move. An obvious warning sign of facet syndrome is the sound of bone-on-bone friction heard in the joint, which resembles a crunching, popping or grinding noise. This is quite common and can indicate that joint cartilage has worn down.
See your doctor
Facet syndrome is an extremely common condition and there are many different treatment options to consider. In order to confirm your diagnosis and begin a treatment plan that is right for your condition, speak with a qualified doctor as soon as possible.
USA Spine Care provides minimally invasive spine surgery for patients who have exhausted conservative treatments but want to avoid the risks and difficulties of traditional open spine surgery. To learn more, contact our caring and dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today.
We offer a no-cost MRI review* to help you find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.