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Five muscle stretches for living with facet syndrome

Facet syndrome, or spinal osteoarthritis, can develop in the spine’s facet joints when many years of wear and tear have caused the deterioration of the cartilage in the joints. This condition is most common in the neck and lower back because those areas do the most bending and twisting. Facet syndrome can lead to pain, inflammation and joint stiffness as well as the formation of bone spurs, which can cause additional symptoms if they pinch a nerve root or the spinal cord.

Stretching to alleviate facet syndrome symptoms

After clearing them through your physician, the following are muscle stretches that can help relax and strengthen the muscles supporting your spine, and potentially reduce your facet syndrome symptoms:

  1. Knee to chest. Start on your back with your knees bent, and grab your legs below your knees. Slowly pull your knees toward your chest and hold for 30 seconds.
  2. Cat/Cow. Start on your hands and knees with your hands below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Press your back up to create an arch for five seconds, then release and let your stomach drop toward the floor for five seconds.
  3. Cobra. Lie flat on your stomach, with your hands flat on the ground near your shoulders and your toes pointed. Slowly press your hands and lift your head and chest as far as you can. Hold for 20 seconds or more.
  4. Child’s pose. Begin on your hands and knees, then reach your arms in front of you and slowly lower your hips down on top of your legs. Drop your head and chest down to the floor and hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Pelvic tilt. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Lift your pelvis toward the sky, then let it come back down. Repeat 15 times.

In addition to stretching, your physician will likely suggest other conservative treatments such as medications, physical therapy and hot/cold therapy to help alleviate your symptoms. You may also consider alternative facet syndrome treatments such as chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture.

Additional facet syndrome treatment options

In many cases, symptoms associated with facet syndrome can be managed through conservative and alternative treatments. If your symptoms persist or become more severe, you may want to contact USA Spine Care for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for outpatient surgery, which offers a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open spine surgery. In fact, our patients are up and walking within a few hours of surgery.^

For more information about the minimally invasive procedures we offer to treat facet syndrome and other degenerative spinal conditions, contact USA Spine Care today.

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