One of the leading causes of back and neck pain is facet joint syndrome, an arthritis-like condition involving degenerative joint changes. Patients with Eugene facet joint syndrome have underlying issues that cause inflammation in the cartilage causing nerve endings to transmit pain signals. Physicians can develop treatment plans for symptom management, including physical therapy techniques and joint injections. A surgical approach may be necessary to address chronic symptoms.
Understanding the anatomy of the facet joints
Various bones make up the spine. These bones are vertebrae and usually form a column. Each bone comprises a three-joint complex with synovial joints that contain cartilage that provides the necessary lubrication to allow movement of the bones to bend and twist the spine.
What is facet joint syndrome?
Another name for facet joint syndrome is facet arthropathy. This condition involves debilitating pain that makes it hard for patients to move their spine. Over time, vertebrae experience degenerative changes due to repeated movements causing uneven body weight shift in the facet joints, thus causing wear and tear in synovial joints. Some patients exhibit stiffness and spasms in the surrounding muscles.
What are the symptoms of facet joint syndrome?
Many patients with facet joint syndrome do not experience symptoms until later, when an event triggers symptoms. The following are some of the most common signs of facet joint pain:
- A dull ache in the lower back: The pain can diffuse to the buttocks.
- Neck pain involves discomfort in the shoulders and back of the skull
- Any movements that involve the affected joints, like bending backward or twisting sideways, can trigger pain.
- Patients experience relief when they engage in activities of rest, which reduce pressure on the spine.
What are the causes of facet joint syndrome?
It is not uncommon for the cartilage in the joints to wear down due to aging. Other causes of facet joint syndrome include repetitive movements, a traumatic event on the spine, and poor posture. Obesity and being overweight are other common causes of facet joint syndrome because they involve stress on the spine from body weight. Patients with facet joint syndrome usually experience vertebral disc deterioration The best explanations for the resulting pain that affects patients are cartilage breakdown and joint space narrowing that cause bones to rub together.
How do physicians diagnose facet joint syndrome?
The best way to relieve your pain is to receive an accurate diagnosis that will influence the treatment approach to wellness. Physician intervention is necessary to promote accurate diagnostic results. Some of the things physicians review before conforming to a diagnosis involve medical and family history to appreciate risk factors for disease. Your doctor will ask you to perform various movements like standing and moving while indicating the location of the pain. Manipulative techniques may be necessary to feel tenderness in the spine’s joints. Imaging tests are vital to helping your primary care provider detect spine and hip-related [problems. Contact Pacific Sports and Spine to schedule an initial consultation towards treating your facet joint syndrome.