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Four alternatives to facet disease surgery

Facet disease is a spinal condition in which the joints of the vertebrae wear down. The vertebrae that make up the spine each have two facet joints that fit together, giving the spine stability while allowing movement. Like other joints throughout the body, these facet joints have a protective layer of cartilage that can deteriorate over time. When this cartilage wears away, movements involving the facet joints may cause symptoms of pain and stiffness, caused by motions such as twisting, bending and heavy lifting. Learn more about the treatment options associated with facet disease surgery in the following article.

Alternatives to facet disease surgery

Typically, the first step after a diagnosis of facet disease will not be surgery. Before considering this more invasive option, a doctor will likely recommend a combination of conservative treatment methods. Four nonsurgical options commonly used to help relieve symptoms of facet disease include:

  1. Low-impact stretching and low-impact exercises like yoga, swimming or jogging can help stretch and strengthen the muscles that help support the spine
  2. Hot/cold compresses may help increase circulation and reduce pain
  3. Pain medications like Motrin or Aleve can reduce inflammation and pain temporarily
  4. Lifestyle changes like a nutritious diet, reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking can reduce stress on the spine and contribute to improved overall health

In addition to these conservative treatment methods, some patients choose to explore alternative therapies, such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Spinal traction
  • Chiropractic care

While the medical community has not reached a general consensus on these types of therapies, some patients have found these methods effective at helping with symptom relief. It is important to always consult your doctor when attempting a new form of treatment, in order to make sure you do not worsen your condition.

Facet disease treatment at USA Spine Care

In many cases, one or more conservative methods will provide a patient with sufficient relief from facet disease. However, some patients may need to consider facet disease surgery if conservative methods have proved ineffective after several weeks or months. If this is the case for you, contact USA Spine Care today to learn about our minimally invasive spine surgery, which offers patients a safer and effective alternative compared to traditional open neck or back 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. The team of dedicated surgeons at our state-of-the-art facilities uses a small muscle-sparing incision, allowing patients to experience a shorter recovery time with less risk of complication compared to traditional surgery.^

If you would like to find out if you’re a potential candidate for minimally invasive facet disease surgery, reach out to USA Spine Care today for a no-cost MRI review.* We can help guide you on your next step toward pain relief.

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