Facet Joint Syndrome

Facet Joint Syndrome is best described as arthritis or degenerative changes taking place within the facet joint. The facet joints are the weight bearing joints of the back part of the vertebra. Two facet joints are present in between every one of the vertebrae. When the facets have too much stress and inflammation over a long period of time, they will start to degenerate causing pain and discomfort.

Facet Joint Pain

Facet syndrome has several names, such as facet joint syndrome, facet arthritis or arthropathy, spinal osteoarthritis, and facet disease. Any of the listed names can be used when pain emerges directly from one or more facet joints as a result of degenerative changes. Facet joint pain appears when joints are functioning properly which impact the essential nerves present inside and around the spinal canal. As they are in constant motion, they are under continuous pressure, and with dysfunction, the facets will degenerate overtime.

Causes of Facet Joint Syndrome

Aging, wear and tear, and spinal stress are the main reasons for the facet issues; More specifically, common causes can be:

1. Sudden traumatic injuries
2. Continuous physical labor / constant repetitive trauma
3. Desk-bound lifestyle
4. Changes in the height of the spinal disk
5. Subluxation / fixation / intersegmental dysfunction

Chiropractic Treatment for Facet Syndrome

There are specific non-invasive therapies that can help to treat facet joint pain. It starts by alleviating the pain and inflammation felt at the facet joint. Once this is done it is important to stop the progression of degenerative changes in the facet joint.

A few chiropractic treatments include:

1. Spinal manipulation to restore proper joint motion within the facet

2. Postural corrective exercises to reduce stress on the joint

3. Ice and heat therapy to decrease inflammation and promote a new blood supply to the area of concern.

4. Ergonomic corrective guidelines to stop the trauma and progression of facet degeneration.

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