Facet Disease Risk Factors

What is Facet Disease?

Facet disease is usually caused by the natural aging process, which is something no one can avoid. These joints connect the vertebrae in the spine, allowing for movement and stability. Facet disease occurs when there is degeneration of the cartilage in these joints. Much like in any other joint in your body, when the cartilage in a facet joint degenerates it causes inflammation of the joints, which can result in back pain, stiffness and other debilitating symptoms. 

Although it is largely unavoidable, there are many facet disease risk factors that can accelerate the natural aging process. Knowing more about these causes can be helpful in slowing down joint degeneration, whether you have been diagnosed with this condition or are at risk for developing this spine condition. 

Facet Disease Risk Factors

Besides everyday wear and tear and age-related deterioration, here are some of the specific facet disease risk factors that can contribute to its onset: 

  • Obesity
  • Improper lifting
  • Awkward rest or sleeping positions
  • Genetics
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • A weakened immune system
  • Traumatic bone fractures caused by an automobile or workplace accident
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive motion injuries, from standing and lifting or bending and twisting 

While taking steps to avoid these behaviors or making lifestyle adjustments to reverse them can slow the development of facet disease, it is important to seek the partnership of your primary care doctor for diagnosis and facet disease treatment if symptoms become persistent.

Facet Disease Treatments

Upon diagnosis, doctors will generally recommend starting facet disease treatment with a course of conservative treatment options. While there is no way to cure this condition, many patients do have great success managing symptoms with some of the following methods:

  • Braces and supportive pillows
  • Chiropractic treatments
  • Hot and cold compression therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Periods of rest
  • Exercise
  • Pain medication 

Surgery to treat this spine condition is usually considered when conservative options have been exhausted. This is because traditional open back surgery involves large incisions, overnight hospitalization and a long, often painful, rehabilitation period. 

If you are considering traditional open back surgery to treat chronic symptoms related to this condition, there is an alternative. BEST Health System’s skilled surgeons perform minimally invasive spine surgeries with less than a 1-inch incision.

BEST Health System

To learn more about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery for a bulging disc, contact BEST Health System today. Our outpatient procedures offer a shorter recovery time with less risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.