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What You Need to Know About Facet Joint Pain Treatment

The spine contains interlocking bones known as vertebrae. The joints connecting these bones—known as facet joints—promote healthy movement in the back. As people age, these joints may become damaged, resulting in pain. There are several methods used to minimize the pain and allow patients to move freely.

So how does facet joint treatment occur? Some people can resort to home remedies to instantly relieve pain. There are also some lifestyle modifications that you can use for better overall spine health. However, there are also effective non-surgical procedures that you can consider for long-term relief from facet joint disorder. 

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Regenerative therapy has helped countless patients look and feel like the person they were years before. Call us today to book your regenerative therapy consultation.

Recognizing Facet Joint Pain

Facet joint syndrome mimics the symptoms of arthritis. It’s a common cause of both neck and back pain. In facet joint syndrome, the spinal joints degenerate and become inflamed. The inflammation sends a pain signal to nerves around the spine. Patients experiencing facet joint pain may have difficulty moving their back from left to right.

Signs and Symptoms

Facet joint pain causes people to move their entire bodies when facing to the left or right. The lumbar region fails to support the body properly, leading to difficulty in movement. The syndrome first begins with a dull pain in the lower back. Some people report it as an uncomfortable feeling over the buttocks and thighs. 

Common signs of facet joint syndrome include:

  • An aching or burning sensation in the back
  • Difficulty moving the body from left to right
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness and stiffness
  • Pain around the neck, back, and upper rib cage

Most patients experiencing facet arthropathy may have difficulty standing up. Twisting motions, such as stretches, can also be difficult. Many people report decreased flexibility. In some cases, patients may also have trouble walking properly. You may also experience headaches and neck pain.

Diagnosing Facet Joint Pain

It’s important to get a proper diagnosis for facet syndrome before you undergo any procedures. Facet joint syndrome can have symptoms similar to other conditions, such as sciatica, arthritis, and back fractures. You should contact your doctor if you suspect facet joint pain syndrome. They may give you a recommendation for an orthopedist or neurologist, depending on their initial assessment of your condition. 

The diagnosis process begins with medical history taking, which allows the physician to rule out other conditions. You will also be screened for potential injuries and conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. During symptom assessment, you will be asked about the impact of the joint pain on your daily life. Your physician may also recommend some lifestyle modifications to help you sleep, walk, and sit around more comfortably. 

Some neurological tests will also be used to check for any nerve damage on the spine. Your doctor may also order a CT scan or MRI to visualize the problem area. The resulting image will show if you have any hidden injuries in the lumbar spine. In some cases, an injectable analgesic may be used for diagnosis. If the pain doesn’t improve after the injection, then you may be experiencing something different from facet joint pain. 

Conservative Management for Facet Joint Pain

As a first step, you can use conservative pain management for short-term relief. These methods can be used in tandem with other treatments for maximum effectiveness against facet joint arthritis. Some of these involve home remedies, over-the-counter painkillers, and non-invasive therapies.

1) Home Remedies

There are some household items that you can use for instant pain relief. Using a hot compress may relieve some of the tension in the back. For best results, it’s advised to apply the heat patch first thing in the morning. You may also use a hot water bag as an alternative. Feel free to repeat the process throughout the day to help minimize pain. 

Similarly, using a cold compress can also help with sudden pain. The cold temperature helps the blood vessels constrict, lessening pain and discomfort around the area. You can also repeat the application throughout the day. Some people may benefit from a combination of hot and cold compresses. 

You can also use a back support to promote a natural posture. This helps correct the position of the body while standing and sitting. You can also get an ergonomic chair to help keep your body upright while working. 

2) Oral Medications

You can also take painkillers for short-term relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin are commonly prescribed to manage facet joint pain. However, these medications may cause adverse reactions in some people. Make sure to notify your healthcare provider before taking any medication for facet joint osteoarthritis. 

3) Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatments involve manual manipulation of the spine. Chiropractors use manipulation to align the musculoskeletal system and promote healing without surgery. This technique is widely used to lessen pain in the bones and muscles, as well as the lumbar facet joints. Some people combine chiropractic treatments with medical intervention. 

If you plan on pursuing chiropractic treatments, make sure you tell your doctors. Although many clients explore chiropractic treatments for lower back pain, the spinal nerve could be damaged if the procedure is done improperly. Some people may develop harsh reactions to this treatment option, leading to more severe joint pain.

4) Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a form of rehabilitative medicine used in conjunction with other treatments. For facet joint pain specifically, a physical therapist may use tissue massages, posture correction, and strength training. 

The combination of these treatments may help alleviate stiffness due to facet joint disease. Recovery through physical therapy is often gradual and comes after a few sessions. For a very unresponsive case, minimally invasive spine surgery may be recommended.

Effective Non-Surgical Procedures Available at aNu Aesthetics

There are also other non-surgical procedures that can help with long-term relief for facet joint pains. It’s important to undergo a facet joint injection supervised by licensed professionals. Much like a simple steroid injection, most of these treatment options need multiple sessions for relief from severe pain. 

1) PRP for Joints

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is becoming more widely used as a form of facet injection treatment. The procedure works by injecting the plasma directly into the affected joint to stimulate healing and tissue growth. Blood is extracted from the patient and transferred to a sterilized centrifuge. While being spun, the blood plasma transforms into a PRP solution. The goal of a PRP joint injection is to decrease pain and allow freer movements. 

2) Ozone Therapy

Ozone therapy is used to improve the body’s oxygen levels. It can be used to boost the immune system and promote better blood circulation for patients with lumbar facet joint syndrome. It’s also used to treat symptoms of arthritis and wounds. The ozone gas optimizes the body’s oxygen levels and promotes relief from facet pain. Some specialists use ozone therapy to treat chronic low back pain. 

3) Regenerative Therapy

Some centers offer regenerative therapy, a type of treatment that combines alternative medicine for the treatment of chronic pain. Similar to PRP, it involves injecting a solution directly into the problem area. A tissue matrix solution is used to promote healing and pain relief from facet joint hypertrophy. Results may show up after a few weeks.

aNu Aesthetics: Your Partner in Improving Overall Health and Wellness

It’s important to receive the best possible care for facet joint syndrome treatment. You can pursue non-surgical methods, such as PRP, ozone, and regenerative therapy with the guidance of a licensed professional. 

At aNu Aesthetics, our team is composed of aestheticians and doctors who can help you achieve long-term relief. Book a session with us today by calling (816) 670-4406 or emailing info@anuaesthetics.com. 

Rewind The Clock Both Outside And In

Regenerative therapy has helped countless patients look and feel like the person they were years before. Call us today to book your regenerative therapy consultation.

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