Exercise is often a key component of facet syndrome treatment. People with facet syndrome are frequently advised to complete regular sessions with a physical therapist to obtain the best results, but several additional exercises can be completed at home.
Due to the nature of facet syndrome, which is inflammation of the spinal joints due to loss of cartilage, it’s normal for bending and twisting motions to cause discomfort. However, exercises for facet syndrome treatment shouldn’t cause sudden or severe pain. If you do incorporate these exercises into your daily routine, be sure to listen to the signals your body sends you as you perform them. Repeated over time, the exercises should gradually become easier to complete. The goal is for you to eventually notice your muscles becoming stronger and your range of motion increasing.
Here are three examples of exercises your doctor or physical therapist may recommend:
1. Knee-to-chest exercises
The first exercise that may be a helpful addition to your facet syndrome treatment plan is a simple knee-to-chest motion. For this exercise, lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Bring your right knee toward your chest and hold for three seconds, then release the leg, return it to its original position and repeat with your left knee. Repeat this circuit five to 10 times.
2. Bridging exercises
Another facet syndrome treatment exercise that can help stabilize your spine and strengthen your lower back muscles is the bridge posture. For this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat — much like you would for the knee-to-chest exercise. From there, slowly lift your pelvis into the air as you inhale, then lower it back to the floor as you exhale. Keep your knees hip-width apart throughout the entire motion and repeat five to 10 times.
3. Cat/cow exercises
Cat/cow stretches may also be a beneficial addition to your treatment plan. To begin, kneel on all fours with your hips over your knees and your shoulders over your wrists. As you exhale, tense your abdominal muscles and round your spine to the ceiling. As you inhale, lift your head and look toward the ceiling while curving your abdomen toward the floor. Repeat this series five to 10 times per day along with any other exercises that have been prescribed for your facet syndrome treatment.
Minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care
Surgery usually doesn’t become a serious consideration for people with facet syndrome until conservative treatments including exercise have been exhausted. Before consenting to a highly invasive traditional open spine procedure, contact USA Spine Care to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.
You can ask for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.