It’s your Raleigh, NC Chiropractor Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes from Carolina ChiroCare and Rehab. Today I want to talk about facet syndrome and how this may be the underlying cause of you neck or low back pain. The patient in the video below was suffering from lumbar facet syndrone. The symptoms are characterized by sharp knife like pains in the back or neck that come and go with certain movements or activities.
This patient usually had no low back pain but would experience occasional sharp severe pain in her low back that was usually brought on by walking.
Her examination was normal and she was not experiencing frequent low back pain.
What is lumbar facet syndrome? Could it be the casue of your neck or back pain?
Facet syndrome is a disorder in the lumbar and a cervical facet joints and can cause localized pain in the low back and also radiating pain. Often times this radiating pain is into the arms, pans, legs, thighs and gluteal regions.
Remember if it disorder is in the cervical spine the referred pain will be in the shoulders, arms or hands.
In the lumbar spine the referred pain is into the thighs, legs, feet, or gluteal regions. The majority of facet syndrome cases are in the cervical spine estimated to be 55% and 31% in the lumbar spine or low back.
The facet joints are the joints in the back of their vertebrae where the top vertebrae and bottom vertebrae join together. Chronic irritation of these facet joints is called “facet syndrome”.
Studies indicate that irritation, inflammation, osteoarthritis, and dysfunctionin these joints represent 15 to 52% of all the chronic low back pain in the population.
The cause of facet syndrome is generally thought to be from repetitive stress, degeneration and trauma to the spine. Acute traumas like a car accident, whiplash, falls, and sports injuries may casue facet syndrome to begin in your spine.
Degeneration of the intervertebral disks in the spine can also cause and contribute to facet syndrome. As the disk spaces narrow the facet joints are forced to pick up more of the load and weight distribution in the spine. This causes chronic wear and tear, irritation and inflamation in the facet joints.
Symptoms of facet syndrome in the neck include
– Neck pain with certain movements like rotation or extension
– Radiating pain into the upper back or shoulders
– Tenderness with palpation
– Tight and spastic muscles neck upper back and shoulders
Symptoms of lumbar facet syndrome include
– Pain in the low back
– Referred pain in the hips thighs and gluteal regions
– Pain leaning back with extension in the lumbar spine
– Stiffness and back pain moving in certain directions or going from sitting to standing
– Tight and spastic muscles in the low back
Facet syndrome may be diagnosed with a thorough history from your physician. X-rays, CT scans and MRIs may be used as diagnostic procedures in the diagnosis of this facet syndrome. Injections into the facet joints where a patient receives a significant reduction in pain is also a diagnostic procedure.
A reduction in symptoms with chiropractic care is also seen as diagnostic because chiropractic care affects the facet joints in the spine through mobilizations and spinal chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractic treatment is a noninvasive, proven and effective treatment for facet syndrome. Patients should conservative measures such as chiropractic care for neck and back pain.
After 6 to 8 weeks of treatment your chiropractor may recommend injections into the facet joints if your symptoms are not improving.
Most chiropractors wll also start their patients on physical therapy in their office to treat and manage neck and back pain stemming from facet syndrome.
Here in my Raleigh Chiropractors office facet syndrome is treated…
with chiropractic adjustments, targeted & specific strengthening/stretching exercises
We use targetd electrical muscle stimulation and manual therapies such as myofascial release therapy for tight, sore and spasmed muscles.
I also find ultrasound therapy to be very beneficial. This therapy drives a deep ultrasonic heat into the inflamed joints which helps them heal from injury, chronic arthritis, degeneration and pain.
Your chiropractor is trained in the diagnoses, treatment and management of facet syndrome. Chiropractic adjustments reset and realign the facet joints increasing the joints mobility and ranges of motion which allwow the joints to function better.
I wrote about chiropractic care for spine, neck and back pain last month in a prior blog post: Your Raleigh NC Chiropractor Explains Low Back Chiropractic Manipulation How Does It Work
If you may be experiencing facet syndrome call my office for a free consultation
YOU MAY BE A CANDIDATE FOR CHIROPRACTIC CARE IN RALEIGH FOR NECK PAIN! FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION, CONTACT US HERE OR CALL (919) 626-8220
In health….your Raleigh NC Chiropractor
Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes D.C.