Avoid These Exercises if You Have Facet Syndrome

What is Facet Syndrome?

Facet syndrome is a form of osteoarthritis that affects the facet joints of the spine. Since this is typically age-related, people older than age 50 are more likely to develop this condition. Osteoarthritis occurs when joint cartilage begins to become brittle and thin, which can lead to joint inflammation. The spine is a region that is especially vulnerable to this because of the amount of weight the spine has to support on a daily basis. 

While facet syndrome may not be immediately noticeable, it can lead to symptoms that have a debilitating effect on your ability to accomplish normal activities. Be extra cautious when you exercise if you have any spine condition. Continue reading to learn more about BEST Health System’s tips on working out with facet syndrome. 

Exercises to Avoid if You Have Facet Syndrome

While exercise and stretching techniques are an important part of facet syndrome treatment, it is also important to learn which exercises should be avoided to prevent the condition from worsening. Here are six common exercises that you may want to avoid if you have facet syndrome:

  1. Sit-ups and crunches. These exercises are abdominal workouts, but they also engage the back muscles. Improper form while doing sit-ups or crunches can strain the lower back and worsen symptoms.
  2. Leg lifts. To do this exercise, lie on your back and lift your legs in the air, aiming to strengthen the core and lower back. However, if your back arches during this exercise, it puts a lot of strain on the spine instead.
  3. Running or jogging. The repeated impacts involved with running or jogging, especially on concrete and other hard surfaces, contribute to wear and tear on the spine as it compresses with each impact.
  4. Torso twists. Twisting motions, especially when done with weights in hand, engage the facet joints of the spine and can cause back pain.
  5. Toe touches. Bending over to reach down and touch your toes may seem like a fairly passive exercise, but bending forward stacks your weight onto the spine and can be harmful.
  6. Deadlifts. Straight-legged deadlifts involve lifting weight while leaning forward at the hips, resulting in most of the strain occurring in the back.

There are plenty of other exercises and stretches that keep the spine safe and can be effective as a facet syndrome treatment. You may want to consult with a physician or physical therapist to determine which options are best for you. As a general rule, you should stop doing any exercise that causes neck or back pain.

Treatment with BEST Health System

If you still experience facet syndrome symptoms after months of conservative treatment, you may be a candidate for surgery. Contact BEST today to learn more about our minimally invasive procedures.