If you’re experiencing symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or weakness that can accompany facet joint syndrome, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. However, you may be surprised to know that healthy amounts of exercise involving low-impact activities can potentially help you reduce pain and manage your symptoms. While intermittent periods of rest can be a beneficial part of any treatment plan, keep in mind that staying active is very important to your overall mental and physical well-being, including the health of your spine.
How exercise can help facet joint syndrome
Your doctor or a physical therapist should be able to give you a list of exercises that can be effective for patients dealing with facet joint syndrome in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar regions of the spine. He or she can also tell you more about the many benefits that exercise can provide, including:
- Releasing endorphins. Exercise releases endorphins, which are your body’s own natural pain relievers. These bind to pain receptors and help diminish painful signals being sent to the brain.
- Strengthening muscles. Strengthening the muscles of the spine and the abdomen can help take painful pressure off of the facet joints.
- Improving circulation. Healthy circulation ensures that blood is delivered to the spine. Since blood carries nutrients, better blood flow promotes spinal health and can potentially slow down degeneration.
Combining exercise with other conservative treatments
In addition to exercise, several other conservative treatments have proven highly effective for patients who are experiencing facet syndrome and related symptoms of joint instability, joint stiffness and nerve compression. Pain medication, hot and cold compresses, lifestyle changes, physical therapy and facet joint injections are some possible options for you to discuss with your doctor.
In the event that weeks or months of conservative treatments do not offer relief and the quality of life you expect, you and your doctor may begin to explore surgical options. For patients in this situation, USA Spine Care provides minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures.^ Since 2005 we have helped thousands of patients experiencing chronic neck and back pain. Contactus today for more information.
A member of our caring team will gladly help you receive a free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.
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