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Recovering from facet joint disease without treatment

Facets are the spinal joints where the vertebrae hinge and move. They’re located in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions. These joints can undergo degeneration or arthritis known as facet disease, which can create manifest itself in a variety of ways including pain in the neck or back, joint stiffness or soreness, numbness and tingling. Pain can also be associated with activities such as bending, lifting, twisting and sitting for prolonged periods of time. If you are wondering if the condition can eventually resolve itself without any form of treatment, read the following article.

Facet disease treatment options

Facet disease develops gradually as the soft tissue around the facet joints wears down over time. Once this soft tissue is gone, there is no way to bring it back. This means that there is no true cure for facet disease. However, there are many options out there that can help reduce or completely eliminate facet disease symptoms. These conservative treatment methods include:

  • Anti-inflammatories like Motrin or Aleve
  • Using cortisone injections
  • Narcotic and non-narcotic pain medications
  • Resting the back for limited periods
  • Low-impact exercises like walking or swimming
  • Physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles around the spine
  • Stretching exercises such as yoga or Pilates
  • Managing excess weight, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption
  • Correcting poor posture
  • Using hot and cold compresses

Some individuals with facet disease also find that alternative therapies like acupressure, acupuncture, herbal supplements and other holistic approaches can help manage symptoms. In many cases, individuals using one or more of these conservative options will find effective symptom relief without needing to consider a more invasive treatment approach. Please keep your doctor informed of any new treatment options you are attempting in order to avoid worsening your symptoms.

Minimally invasive treatments for facet disease

While many individuals will not need surgery as a facet disease treatment, there are some cases in which symptoms require further treatment. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend seeing if you are a candidatefor surgical intervention. Surgical treatment options include traditional open back surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. At USA Spine Care, we specialize in minimally invasive procedures, which are a safer and effective alternative to traditional surgery.^ Our techniques require only a small incision and are muscle-sparing, which contributes to less risk of complication than traditional surgery.^

USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Contact our dedicated team today and request a no-cost MRI review* to learn if our outpatient procedures would be effective in relieving your facet disease symptoms.

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