Facet Joint Syndrome
This condition is a deterioration of the facet joints, which help stabilize the spine and limit excessive motion. The facet joints are lined with cartilage and are surrounded by a lubricating capsule that enables the vertebrae to bend and twist.
Facet joint syndrome occurs when the facet joints become stressed and damaged. This damage can occur from everyday wear and tear injury to the back or neck, or degeneration of an intervertebral disc.
The cartilage that covers the stressed facet joints gradually wears away. The joints become swollen and stiff. The vertebral bones rub directly against each other, which can lead to the growth of bone spurs along the edges of the facet joints.
Pain from facet joint syndrome differs depending on which region of the spine is damaged. If the cervical, or upper spine is affected, pain may be felt in the neck, shoulders, and upper or middle back. The person may also experience headaches. Neck problems that cause headaches are referred to as “Cervicogenic Headaches”.
If the lumbar, or lower spine, is affected pain may be felt in the lower back, buttocks and back of the thigh. Arthritis of the facet joints is a very common cause of ongoing back pain
Facet joint syndrome is first treated conservatively with rest, ice, heat, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. In addition, facet joint blocks may be administered not only to diagnose facet joint pain but also to treat it. If facet injections fail to relieve pain long term, a facet rhizotomy may be performed in order to provide long term relief from pain signals from the facet joints. Recently, use of Regenerative Medicine “Stem Cell Injections” in the facet joints has gained popularity and is showing promise.
Finding the Source of the Pain is the Key!
At NorTex we are committed to finding the source of the pain; in this case back pain or neck pain; before starting to formulate a treatment plan.
Lumbar or Cervical Facet Joint injections are invaluable diagnostic interventions which can help us understand whether back pain or neck pain is originating from arthritis of the spine joints referred to “facet joints”. Long term relief of pain coming from facet joints is currently available via cauterizing the “Pain Wires” of the facet joints by an intervention called “Radiofrequency treatment” or “Rhizotomy”.
Do you want to talk more about your Low Back or Neck Pain?
Call us today at 972-872-8408