What is Facet Joint Syndrome?
Facet joints are small, stabilizing joints located on the side of each vertebra. They stabilize the spine and allow for flexibility and rotation when the neck and lower back move. As they are an essential component of the body’s ability to function and are in nearly constant motion, they are also vulnerable to wear and tear that occurs gradually with time. Degeneration of the facet joints can lead to the production of bone spurs and enlargements of the joints, also known as osteoarthritis. Patients suffering from this inflammation and degeneration of the facet joints, also known as facet joint disease, can experience considerable pain when standing, moving, and walking.
What causes facet joint syndrome?
Facet joint syndrome is a relatively common degenerative joint condition that affects millions of people throughout the world, particularly women and individuals over the age of 50. Aside from age and gender, numerous other factors can play a role in accelerating joint degeneration, including obesity, arthritis, genetic disposition, and lifestyles that place strain and pressure on the back. Facet joint disease can also be caused by repetitive injury and trauma, which can produce the same types of degenerative abnormalities of the facet joints. As facet joint disease accounts for roughly 15 – 40% of low back pain cases and 40 – 60% of neck pain cases, diagnosing the condition is essential to pursuing effective pain treatments.
Diagnosing Facet Joint Syndrome
While physical assessments and pain profiles are essential components of a thorough evaluation, the primary method of diagnosing facet joint disease is the facet block injection. As a diagnostic tool, these injections are used to localize the source of pain. If pain responds to the injection of anesthetic and / or steroid medication, more effective and long-lasting forms of pain treatment can be explored.
Treating Facet Joint Disease
As our award-winning Los Angeles joint and back pain management doctor, Payam Vahedifar, M.D., is a board-certified specialist in physical medicine, rehabilitation, and pain medicine, we are able to treat patients with facet joint disease using a multi-disciplinary approach. Conservative treatment, including physical therapy and medication, can significantly alleviate pain symptoms. Facet block injections, while a valuable diagnostic tool, can also be used to provide patients with pain relief. If the condition does not respond to conservative treatments, we can explore other advanced, minimally invasive treatments to alleviate your pain and improve your physical mobility.
Learn More About Your Orthopedic Joint Pain Treatment Options
If you have not found relief from your pain caused by facet joint disease, or if you believe that a joint condition may be the underlying cause of your pain, allow our team to provide you with a comprehensive evaluation so that you can better understand your condition and the available treatment options we can pursue to improve the quality of your life. Our Nuvo Spine clinics, located in Encino and Los Angeles, provide experienced care for all spine, nerve, and orthopedic joint pain conditions. Here to answer your questions and concerns, our team makes it our mission to ensure that you obtain the service and results you deserve.Contact Nuvo Spine to learn more.