The primary factor associated with facet syndrome is aging, an unavoidable factor. Over time, the wear and tear caused by years of bending, flexing, and twisting causes the protective articular cartilage within the facet joints of the spine to deteriorate. Articular cartilage deterioration causes inflammation. Inflammation anywhere in the body is universally characterized by redness, swelling, pain, stiffness, and loss of function. The greater the articular cartilage loss, the greater the inflammation. Inflammation also stimulates bone spurs, or osteophytes, to develop. Osteophytes may result in pain and other symptoms if these bony growths compress a nearby spinal nerve.
Although articular cartilage deterioration cannot be prevented, managing the resulting symptoms is possible. In most cases, these symptoms include:
- Pain at the site of the degenerative joint
- Pain that radiates the length of a compressed nerve
For those suffering from facet syndrome symptoms, a regimen of conservative, nonsurgical treatments will likely suffice in managing symptoms. Physicians initially recommend pain medications, hot/cold therapy, physical therapy, massage, or other options. However, if symptoms persist after weeks or months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute. We perform a variety of minimally invasive procedures using state-of-the-art endoscopic technologies that are safe, effective alternatives to open back surgery. Thousands of patients have trusted our procedures to help them find relief from chronic neck and back pain.