Four Misconceptions About Facet Syndrome Treatment

Facet Syndrome

Facet syndrome treatment can take many forms. However, all forms of treatment share a common goal: to relieve pain and improve mobility. As a result, patients can resume regular activities. More commonly known as spinal osteoarthritis, facet syndrome develops in the small joints that connect the spinal bones. The facet joints allow for the bending and flexing of the spine necessary for walking, bending, twisting, and sitting. 

What is it?

Like other joints in the body, the spinal facet joints are lined with cartilage. This allows the bones in the joint to glide smoothly over each other. Due to the natural aging process, this protective coating can slowly wear away. The increase in the amount of friction between bone surfaces can lead to inflammation. This degeneration can also be accelerated due to a sudden impact sustained during such events as a car accident, fall, or sports-related injury. All this can lead to joint swelling, stiffness, and tenderness associated with facet syndrome that may require treatment. 

What Are Your Facet Syndrome Treatment Options

After confirming the diagnosis, a doctor can recommend an individualized treatment plan to reduce pain and inflammation, enhance strength, and mobility and make it easier to do daily activities. However, newly diagnosed patients easily feel confused and uncertain about the best way to go about this. Here are four misconceptions that some patients have about facet syndrome treatment and useful information to help them find relief. 

Misconception #1. Treatment must be aggressive

Sometimes, simple changes in daily activities can have a noticeable effect on facet joint pain. Changes such as taking regular breaks from prolonged periods of sitting or eating a little better.

Misconception #2. Prolonged bed rest is essential.

While a brief period of rest, usually no more than two days, can help relieve painful pressure in inflamed facet joints, becoming overly sedentary can worsen symptoms. Doctors typically recommend staying active and incorporating low-impact exercise into your daily routine to improve spine health. 

Misconception #3. Taking narcotic painkillers will become a way of life. 

In many cases, over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications taken on an as-needed basis can be just as effective as commonly prescribed opioids, without the potential side effects. 

Misconception #4. Surgery is the only way to achieve lasting relief. 

While effective for certain patients who have severe pain that has not responded to other treatments surgery is not right for everyone. In many cases, conservative facet syndrome treatment can provide lasting relief without the risks and lengthy recovery period that typically go along with a traditional surgical procedure. 

Surgery with BEST Health System

Some people ultimately require surgery to address facet syndrome. If a physician has recommended surgery for you, you should know that a traditional open spine procedure may not be your only option. As a safer and more effective alternative, BEST Health System offers minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery for treating facet syndrome and other degenerative spine conditions. 

If you’re currently exploring your facet syndrome treatment options and want to know if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery, reach out to us today!