Facet Syndrome

Facet Symdrome

Facet syndrome is a specific type of osteoarthritis that develops in the facet joints located in the spine. These joints link the vertebrae and allow the spine to bend, twist, and perform other movements. This condition most commonly develops in the cervical (upper) and in the lumbar (lower) spinal regions, but it can also develop in the thoracic (middle) spine as well. 

As with many other joints in the body, the facet joints have a smooth, connective tissue known as cartilage that coats the ends of the bones. This cartilage can wear down over time resulting in adjacent bones potentially rubbing together instead of gliding smoothly against each other, creating inflammation within the joint and resulting in pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility in the neck or back. 

Sometimes, as bones grind against each other, the body can create bone spurs (osteophytes) in response. These bone spurs can be asymptomatic, but they can also grow large enough to compress or irritate the nerve roots or spinal cord near the facet joints. If this happens, several additional symptoms in the extremities, such as radiating pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness can develop as a result.

Causes

Like all cases of osteoarthritis, facet syndrome is most attributed to natural age-related degradation. Because The facet joints sustain a significant amount of wear and tear throughout a person’s life, many people experience at least a mild degree of facet joint degeneration by the time they enter their 50’s. They may not always be symptomatic but they can also become progressively worse with time. 

Sometimes, traumatic injuries can also accelerate degeneration in the facet joints. These can result from vehicle crashes, falls, and sports-related activities. 

Minimally Invasive Treatment

Very often, symptoms associated with facet syndrome can be managed using conservative treatment methods such as pain medication, lifestyle changes, exercise, and corticosteroid injections. However, if chronic symptoms persist after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery may be suggested. If you’ve attempted a full course of conservative therapies but haven’t found any relief for your facet joint pain, contact BEST Health System today. Our caring and dedicated team can help you learn how our minimally invasive outpatient surgery is a safer and more effective facet syndrome treatment compared to traditional open neck and back procedures.

Reach Out to BEST Health System Today

If you have experienced any of these symptoms or recieved a diagnosis and need treatment, BEST can help. Take the first step towards relief today.

Related Articles

Headshot of Conservative Facet Syndrome Treatments

Conservative Facet Syndrome Treatments

If you’re just getting started with facet syndrome treatment, there’s a good chance that you’ll be focusing exclusively on conservative therapies (at least, for the […]

Headshot of Six Common Facet Syndrome Symptoms

Six Common Facet Syndrome Symptoms

What is Facet Syndrome? Symptoms of lumbar facet syndrome can be mild to severe and are caused by both local joint inflammation and compression of […]

Headshot of Common Facet Syndrome Treatments

Common Facet Syndrome Treatments

Facet joint syndrome is a type of osteoarthritis that affects the joints in the spine. It can result in neck and back pain, stiffness, soreness, […]

Headshot of Most Common Facet Disease Symptoms

Most Common Facet Disease Symptoms

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 […]

Headshot of Preventing Facet Syndrome

Preventing Facet Syndrome

The primary risk factor for facet syndrome is something outside of our control: the natural aging process. While there are other risk factors, like lifestyle […]

Headshot of Why Does Facet Syndrome Develop?

Why Does Facet Syndrome Develop?

What is Facet Syndrome? Facet syndrome is a type of osteoarthritis that affects the small joints that link the vertebrae to form the spinal column. […]

Headshot of Facet Syndrome: At-Home Stretches

Facet Syndrome: At-Home Stretches

Facet syndrome, or spinal osteoarthritis, can develop in the spine’s facet joints when many years of wear and tear have caused the joints’ cartilage deterioration. […]

Headshot of Facet Syndrome - Exercises to Avoid

Facet Syndrome - Exercises to Avoid

Facet syndrome, or osteoarthritis of the spine, is a condition that develops in the facet joints — the joints that allow for movement in the […]

Headshot of Ten Questions to Ask Before Facet Syndrome Surgery

Ten Questions to Ask Before Facet Syndrome Surgery

What is Facet Syndrome? Facet syndrome describes problems that occur in the facet joints of the lumbar or cervical spine. Typically, these facet joints are […]

Headshot of Facet Syndrome - Overview

Facet Syndrome - Overview

What is Facet Syndrome? Facet joint syndrome is another term for osteoarthritis of the spinal facet joints. This condition involves joint inflammation caused by the […]

Headshot of Facet Syndrome Prevention

Facet Syndrome Prevention

Facet Syndrome Risks The primary facet syndrome risk factor is something outside of our control: the natural aging process. Age-related changes are the most common […]

Headshot of Four Ways To Ease Pain From Facet Syndrome

Four Ways To Ease Pain From Facet Syndrome

Facet syndrome can cause pain in the joints of the spine, potentially leading to radiating nerve pain affecting the extremities. There are several strategies that […]