Facets are the small joints on every vertebrae of your spine that are responsible for mobility. They are in movement when we sit, stand, walk, run, bend, twist, and so forth.
The surfaces of the joints are lined with cartilage and synovium (containing joint lubricating fluid) to allow for a smooth gliding motion. With age, wear and tear, and injury the cartilage can become damaged, and more and more friction occurs causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. If the condition progresses, the facets can develop a degenerative problem called facet hypertrophy. This becomes important because when they hypertrophy, or enlarge, they can put more and pressure on the opening where the nerve exits and “pinch” the nerve.
There can be several causes of facet syndrome, including:
- -Hyper-lordosis (excessive curvature of the spine)
- -Overuse due to sports
- -Heavy labor
- -Trauma to the spine from various injuries such as whiplash
- -Age related wear and tear
Treatment for facet syndrome includes chiropractic manipulation to restore normal motion and alignment, physical therapy to improve posture and overall function, massage therapy and further adjunctive modalities for relief. Anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers can be of help.
All of these options are available at Oahu Spine and Rehab in Kailua for an effective integrated approach to your health care needs. With our integrated health center treatment plans, we are able to offer many options to relieve your pain. If you are suffering from pain or would like more information on your facet syndrome, call us today to make an appointment at 488-5555.