Facet syndrome is a fairly common degenerative spinal condition that usually affects individuals over the age of 50. This condition develops in the facet joints of the spine, which have a coating of cartilage and thick fluid that allow the vertebrae to move freely against one another without friction. Because of the wear and tear the spine endures through the years, this cartilage can break down and wear away, causing the bones in the joint to grind against one another. This can lead to inflammation and, potentially, the development of a bone spur. If a bone spur forms and compresses the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root, symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling can develop and radiate along a nerve pathway to other areas of the body.
Conservative facet syndrome treatment options
If you are experiencing painful symptoms caused by this condition that are interfering with your day-to-day life, your physician will likely provide a facet syndrome treatment plan designed to reduce your symptoms to a manageable level. Your options will likely include light exercise and stretching, hot/cold therapy, periods of targeted rest and lifestyle modifications designed to promote better overall spine health.
Additionally, your physician may recommend certain medications, including:
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications — to temporarily lessen your discomfort
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — to inhibit the body’s enzymes that cause pain and inflammation
- Facet joint blocks — to numb the nerve that has been compressed
When conservative treatment doesn’t provide results
Many individuals are able to find the level of relief they are seeking through conservative facet syndrome treatment. However, if your symptoms have persisted or even grown worse, it might be time to speak with your doctor about spine surgery. While he or she may recommend an open spine procedure, USA Spine Care offers minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures.^ If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for our outpatient procedures, we can provide a free MRI review* to help make that determination.
Contact USA Spine Care today to learn more about the advanced approach to facet syndrome treatment that we offer.
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