Facet joint syndrome also called facet joint sprain is a common cause of back pain. The joint/s in our bodies connect two or more bones and their primary function is to promote motion. In the spine, the joints connecting each vertebra are known as facet joints. Like any other joint, each facet joints’ job is to generate healthy movement and provide stability for each motion segment.
The disc/s function as spacers that support motion between the vertebral bodies. This creates a tri-relationship between the intervertebral disc and the facet joints. Degeneration or damage/injury to one affects the other. The effects of aging and/or traumatic injury can damage the facet joints and is the leading cause of back pain known as facet joint syndrome.
There are a variety of treatments that are used, but the most mainstream involves pain medication which can have undesirable side effects and can lead to addiction. Chiropractic is a proven, reliable treatment for pain relief and discomfort of facet joint syndrome. It restores mobility and flexibility while providing pain relief. Individuals notice significant alleviation from the pain and inflammation with chiropractic and is often recommended to those with the condition.
The joints are located at the back of the spine. At each level, there are two joints, one on each side of the spine. The facet joints are enclosed in a capsule. The capsule contains synovial fluid and the surface is covered with hyaline cartilage. These joints are constructed in this fashion because of their role in the body. This role is to control excessive or extensive movement, which includes hyperextension and rotation. This helps to stabilize the spine.
Facet joint syndrome happens when there is an injury or damage to the joints. There are a variety of causes, but basically, it is a sprain that is brought on by excessive movement. This damages the joint capsule and results in inflammation, swelling, and pain.
The pain triggers a protective mechanism in the spine called a reactive muscle spasm which causes difficulty moving comfortably and severe, sudden pain. It is difficult to sit and rest because of its integral function of supporting the body. Severe sprains can take weeks to heal, normally 2 to 6 weeks. The daily pain and lack of mobility make everyday activities difficult and a normal lifestyle almost impossible.
Chiropractic is a proven, effective treatment for facet syndrome. A chiropractor will conduct a physical exam, discuss medical history, and send you for diagnostic tests like x-rays and MRIs. Once they have a clear picture of the condition and a facet joint syndrome diagnosis has been confirmed, they will discuss a recommended course of treatment that can include:
They recommend exercises specific to the condition that helps relieve the pain while strengthening the muscles in the back.
Posture is extremely important for spinal health and general wellness.
A chiropractor will help you achieve a proper, healthy posture along with exercises to do at home to maintain posture and retrain your body.
Heat wraps, hot showers or ice packs and cold pads can be recommended to help control pain and swelling.
Depending on job type, you may be advised to take frequent breaks if you sit all day or shorten your commute. Certain activities won’t be do-able for some time until your back heals.
Spinal manipulation is the most standard chiropractic treatment. A chiropractor may include other treatments/therapies depending on the specific condition and lifestyle.
Chiropractic is a safe, effective, non-invasive, and drug-free way to treat facet joint syndrome, relieve back pain, and help you regain mobility. Talk to your chiropractor about treatment options. Our uplifting southwest community surrounded by its infinite beauty is a fantastic place to live and enjoy our families; it is, therefore, our mission to help each of our patients to live, to love, to matter and to thrive pain-free in this beautiful special place.
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