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Law-Davis Chiropractic

Making Life Better



Facet Joint Syndrome

Posted on December 1, 2017 at 1:55 AM

Facet Joint Syndrome, also called facet joint sprain is a common cause of back pain. The facet joints, also termed zygapophyseal joints, are located at the back of the spine. There are two joints at each level, one on either side of the spine.

The facet joints are classified as synovial joints and are enclosed within a joint capsule. There is synovial fluid within the capsule and the joint surfaces are covered with hyaline cartilage. The role of the facet joints is to control excessive movement especially in rotation and extension, and therefore provide stability for the spine.

Injuries to the facet joints can have many causes, it is caused by excessive movement causing damage to the joint capsule, which in turn cause swelling, inflammation and pain. The combination of bending and twisting at the same time is a common trigger for facet joint syndrome. The pain in turn causes a reactive muscle spasm, which is a protective mechanism. The result can be a sudden severe pain and inability to move comfortably, or pain that builds as the inflammation builds over a few hours.

Often, it is a seemingly insignificant movement that triggers the pain; most injuries are caused by what is called recurrent micro-trauma, it means many small repetitive injuries, until the proverbial 'last straw'. That is why people often hurt themselves doing very trivial things such as bending to pick up a pen, and they hurt themselves before they even get to lift the pen.

The initial treatment involves avoiding the movements that cause the joints to be painful, but prolonged rest is not advisable. Once the diagnosis is made the appropriate treatment can be given.

Treatment may include:

• Spinal manipulation/adjustments to release the muscle spasm.  The only way that inflammatory fluid and products are removed from the joint is through movement; the more movement that can be created in these joints, the quicker the inflammation is resolved.

ture is extremely important in spinal health and overall wellness. Your chiropractor will help you achieve good, healthy posture and give you exercises to do at home to help you maintain good posture and retrain your body to have better posture.

• Heat or cold therapy may be recommended to help control pain.

• Changes in activities you may be advised to take frequent breaks if you sit at a desk all day or to shorten your commute. There may be some activities that you won’t be able to do for a while or won’t be able to do for long periods of time until your back heals.

Chiropractic is a safe, effective, non-invasive, and drug free way to treat facet syndrome, relieve back pain, and help you regain your mobility. Talk to your chiropractor about your treatment options for facet syndrome.

Towards Wellness

Laughter is indeed the best medicine

It can relieve stress, boost your immune function, ease pain, burn calories, and improve your mood. To bring more laughter in your life, indulge in funny activities such as watching funny movies, being with funny people, and spend time with kids!

Stretch of the Month

Hip Flexor Stretch

1. Kneel with affected knee on the ground, same side arm goes back causing pelvis (hips) to shift forward, and back to extend.

2. Hold for 20- 30 seconds.

3. Repeat 3 times.

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