Facet joint syndrome is a condition that occurs when your spine’s facet joints become worn out.
These joints connect your spine’s vertebrae together and aid in controlling your spine’s movements and flexibility. Because these joints are in constant motion, they are likely to suffer from wear and tear. Their cartilage may decrease as well, causing inflammation and degeneration.
Also known as facet joint disease, facet joint syndrome can affect the spine at any point from the neck down. However, pain from the inflammation typically radiates from the lower back and may travel down the buttocks and upper thigh. Visit our facet disease and facet arthritis pages for more details.
Although the facet joints typically wear down due to age, there are other causes that can lead to facet joint syndrome. Trauma, fractures, repetitive movements and sports injuries will, over time, irritate the joints and protective cartilage, causing them to breakdown.
When your facet joints degenerate and become arthritic, they may produce back pain with even the slightest of motions, like leaning backwards. Other effects include:
- Joint inflammation
- Stiffness, especially in the morning
- Decreased spinal mobility and flexibility
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, either intermittently or persistently, talk with your healthcare provider. Your doctor will be able to use an MRI and/or a diagnostic facet injection to determine if facet joint syndrome is the cause behind your back pain. If you are diagnosed with this condition, you may be prescribed a regimen of non-prescription medicine like acetaminophen, rest and low-impact exercises.
In time, it may be necessary for you to seek other treatment options to relieve your symptoms.? At Laser Spine Institute, we offer free MRI or CT scan reviews, as well as consultations for our minimally invasive, revolutionary procedures. Contact us today for more information about our institute, and how we can help you get back to doing what you love most!