Many facet disease symptoms may be experienced as a result of the deterioration of the spinal facet joints. These symptoms range in severity and location depending on the specific joint affected. Additionally, the development of nerve compression can factor in.
While the symptoms can be debilitating and affect your quality of life, many treatments are available to manage your condition.
Facet Disease Symptoms Overview
Facet disease is a type of osteoarthritis affecting the facet joints that connect adjacent vertebrae and provide mobility and spinal stability. This condition can develop at any level of the spine but is most common in the lumbar and cervical regions. This is where flexibility and weight burden are most significant. While traumatic injury, obesity, poor posture, frequent bending, twisting, and lifting can accelerate the onset of facet disease, the most common cause is the natural aging process.
As we grow older, the cartilage that coats the facet joints in the spine naturally begins to deteriorate due to years of wear and tear combined with the loss of water content. Eventually, facet disease can occur due to joint inflammation from the increased friction. This can lead to a number of facet disease symptoms, including:
- Chronic pain near the arthritic joint — often worse in the morning or after sitting in one place for an extended period of time
- Pain that seems to radiate along a nerve
- Joint stiffness or soreness
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or a tingling sensation
Effective treatment options for facet disease symptoms vary from patient to patient and depend on a number of factors, such as your age, overall health, and the severity of your pain and mobility problems. In many cases, doctors will first suggest some combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, stretching techniques, heat therapy, and cold compression.
If you are a candidate for facet disease surgery, BEST is the place to go. Our board-certified surgeons specialize in minimally-invasive surgery techniques that allow patients to leave with less scarring and enjoy a shorter recovery. Contact BEST today for more information.