Facet syndrome is a form of osteoarthritis that affects the facet joints in the spine. Often the result of the natural aging process, facet syndrome can cause pain, stiffness, locking joints and other problems in the affected area of the spine. Learning about your facet syndrome treatment options can help you find ways to manage your symptoms. These may include pain medications, physical therapy and getting regular exercise.
Exercises to avoid if you have facet syndrome
While exercise and stretching techniques are an important part of facet syndrome treatment, it is also important to learn which exercises should be avoided to prevent the condition from worsening. Here are six common exercises that you may want to avoid if you have facet syndrome:
- Sit-ups and crunches. These exercises are often thought of as abdominal workouts, but they also engage the back muscles. Improper form while doing sit-ups or crunches can strain the lower back and worsen symptoms.
- Leg lifts. This exercise, which is done by lying on your back and lifting your legs in the air, aims to strengthen the core and lower back. However, if your back arches during this exercise, it puts a lot of strain on the spine instead.
- Running or jogging. The repeated impacts involved with running or jogging, especially on concrete and other hard surfaces, contribute to wear and tear on the spine as it compresses with each impact.
- Torso twists. Twisting motions, especially when done with weights in hand, engage the facet joints of the spine and can cause back pain.
- Toe touches. Bending over to reach down and touch your toes may seem like a fairly passive exercise, but bending forward stacks your weight onto the spine and can be harmful.
- Deadlifts. Straight-legged deadlifts involve lifting weight while leaning forward at the hips, resulting in most of the strain occurring in the back.
There are plenty of other exercises and stretches that keep the spine safe and can be effective as a facet syndrome treatment. You may want to consult with a physician or physical therapist to determine which options are best for you. As a general rule, any exercise that causes neck or back pain should be stopped immediately, as it is probably causing more harm than good.
If exercise and other conservative treatments are not enough
Some individuals with severe symptoms may need to consider surgery as a facet syndrome treatment if other options, such as exercise and pain medications, are not enough. Minimally invasive surgery to treat facet syndrome is an option available at USA Spine Care. To find out if one of our outpatient procedures is the right facet syndrome treatment option for you, contact USA Spine Care today.
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