Facet disease is irreversible, but there are ways to address the symptoms it causes and minimize its effects. Most people with damage to the facet joints in the spine can find some relief and possibly slow the condition’s progression through certain lifestyle changes. For example, managing your weight, improving posture, and avoiding activities that might harm the neck or back can all be helpful.
1. Weight management for Facet Disease
Being overweight or obese can place tremendous strain on the spine. The parts of the spine already endure the twisting, turning, and bending that occur during normal daily activities like sitting, standing, and walking. Excess weight can make these motions even more stressful, potentially worsening facet disease symptoms. Losing weight can help to relieve some of the symptoms of facet disease. If necessary, talk to your doctor about developing a weight-loss plan that involves good nutrition, portion control, and regular exercise.
2. Posture improvement
Many people have less-than-perfect posture, particularly when they are at rest. Poor posture, however, can hurt the spine, especially if it is already affected by facet disease. Therefore, it is important to actively correct posture during your daily activities, including household chores, driving, and sitting at work. Practicing good posture while sleeping can also be important in minimizing the effects of spine damage. The spine should be kept in a straight, neutral position whenever possible — avoiding slouching while awake and properly supporting the neck and small of the back while sleeping.
3. Avoiding certain activities
While low-impact physical activity can help relieve facet disease symptoms, participating in high-impact activities can be more harmful than helpful. For example, using improper form while heavy lifting can damage weakened spinal elements. The same holds true for activities involving repetitive spine stress through twisting or bending. Such motions include golf swings, baseball pitch windups, and other similar movements that repeatedly strain specific spine areas. Limiting the use of those motions can help minimize facet joint damage.
Additional Facet Disease Treatments
Other methods of minimizing the effects of facet disease could include taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs, physical therapy, and in certain cases, surgery. At BEST Health System, we believe all patients deserve to find the least-invasive treatment for their condition. For this reason, our surgeons specialize in minimally invasive spine and orthopaedic surgery options.
These procedures allow for a shorter recovery time and less scarring, all on an outpatient basis. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about surgery with BEST Health System.