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What exercises should I try to help reduce symptoms of facet syndrome?

Facet syndrome is a type of osteoarthritis that affects the facet joints in the spine. As the spinal joints deteriorate, it’s possible for them to become inflamed. Bone spurs may also develop if the bones rub against each other. These changes in the facet joints can lead to neck or back pain, stiffness or loss of mobility in the spine.

What exercises are good for facet syndrome?

If you have symptoms related to facet syndrome, your physician may have recommended exercise as a good way to help manage your pain. However, you may still be wondering which exercises you should try and if there are any that you should avoid. Here are some tips to help you find exercises that will help:

  • Go for low-impact exercises. A good starting point when you have facet syndrome is to consider various low-impact exercises. Water aerobics is often recommended, as the water provides buoyancy that protects the joints while still providing resistance that makes for a good workout. Other options may include walking, gentle yoga and Pilates. There are a number of different low-impact exercises available, so you’ll have a selection to choose from based on your individual preference.
  • Talk to the experts. You may find it helpful to work with a physical therapist who can make recommendations based on the location of your symptoms and other factors. Additionally, if you choose to exercise in a group setting, talking to the instructor ahead of time about your facet syndrome symptoms is helpful. The instructor may be able to modify the exercise to accommodate your needs.
  • Avoid activities that worsen your facet syndrome symptoms. This may go without saying, but any exercise or specific motion that increases your pain should be avoided. For example, sports that put a lot of strain on the joints, such as gymnastics, football and martial arts, may not be the best option for you. If your pain increases when doing certain activities, this is a sign that you may be doing more harm than good for your joints.

When exercise is not enough to treat facet syndrome

If you’ve been doing low-impact exercises and other conservative treatments for several weeks or months without an improvement in your symptoms, you may be a candidate for surgery to address the condition more directly. At USA Spine Care, we specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery to treat facet syndrome and many other conditions that affect the spine.

To learn more about our outpatient procedures and how they’re a safer and effective alternative to traditional open surgery, contact USA Spine Care today.^

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