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Facet Syndrome

Facet Syndrome, or osteoarthritis, refers to arthritis in the spine that causes the facet joints to become swollen and painful. Facet joint disorders are among the most common of all chronic lower back and neck problems. Depending on how far the disease has progressed and the medical history of the patient, facet syndrome can lead to disability and extreme pain. This condition can be confusing because many of the symptoms mimic those of a herniated disc, abdominal problem, or torn muscle of the spine or lower back. Episodes of pain can be very scary and disabling for those affected.

The facet joints are angled and shaped differently in the cervical (upper), thoracic (middle), and lumbar (lower) spine. While this is important because it allows for more range of motion and movement within the spine, it means that one or several different areas of the spine may become compromised. When these facet joints become inflamed, it usually leads to pain, soreness, and stiffness. People often report a higher level of pain after prolonged periods of inactivity, like sitting or standing too long. Movement is the key to relief, which can be achieved by changing positions. The pain associated with facet syndrome is usually worse in the morning and improves as they day goes on. That being said, individuals who sit all day for work and do not have proper posture may experience pain all day long.

Symptoms of Facet Syndrome

The key to treating facet syndrome is receiving an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional. If the condition is acute and came out of nowhere, we encourage you to contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group today and schedule an appointment. Some of the most common symptoms associated with facet syndrome include:

  • Episodes of lumbar and cervical facet joint pain (several times per month or year)
  • Persistent tenderness in the inflamed facet joints
  • Some degree of loss in spinal muscle flexibility
  • Discomfort when leaning backwards
  • Numbness
  • Pain in the buttocks and upper legs
  • Pain in the shoulders and arms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty standing or twisting
  • Difficulty turning the head

Treatment of facet syndrome requires a diagnosis from a specialist. It can be difficult to diagnose because many symptoms are similar to other conditions, which is why we suggest you make an appointment with a professional today. Once you have been diagnosed, we can discuss treatment options. In many cases, pain associated with facet syndrome will come and go away on its own. However, if the pain persists, we may be able to help. A good rehabilitation program where you are able to focus on improving mobility, strength, and flexibility is generally recommended. We may also use ultrasound and electrostimulation if you are experiencing muscle spasms because of the presence of facet syndrome. To learn more about these offerings or to discuss your case with one of our specialists, please do not hesitate to contact one of our locations in Allen, Anna, Dallas, Frisco, or McKinney.