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Three causes of facet syndrome in the neck

Facet syndrome is a painful condition that, without proper treatment, can prevent someone from living life to the fullest. The spine contains 33 vertebrae, all of which are separated by facet joints and spinal discs. The facet joints allow the spine to move, while the spinal discs provide cushioning support for that movement. Facet syndrome in the neck occurs when the cervical facet joints deteriorate, causing pain, stiffness and limited movement.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cervical facet syndrome, you may be wondering what led to it. Below are three facet syndrome causes that may have contributed to your development of the condition:

  1. Aging. As someone grows older, the cartilage in his or her joints — including the facet joints — gradually begins to break down and deteriorate, forcing the surrounding bones to grind against one another. This is the most common cause of facet syndrome.
  2. Sports. Sports often require players to engage in repetitive motions, many of which involve forceful impact. This can place excess stress on the joints and cause them to deteriorate at a faster rate than they would in non-athletes. The same is true for other traumatic events, such as car accidents.
  3. Smoking. Although you might not associate smoking with spine issues, cigarette smoke can actually lead to the deterioration of facet joints because it decreases blood flow to the joints, preventing them from receiving necessary nutrients.

If you’re living with facet syndrome in the neck and you haven’t been able to achieve relief from your symptoms using nonsurgical treatments, you may want to consider the minimally invasive outpatient surgeries offered at USA Spine Care. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a clinically appropriate alternative and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery.^ Please contact us today for more information on how we may be able to treat your condition. We also offer free MRI reviews* that help us determine whether you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.

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