Facet Disease

Facet joint disease, also known as facet syndrome, facet arthritis, or spinal osteoarthritis, is a spinal condition that happens when the facet joints start to degenerate. These joints are found in the spine and are what allow for movement and flexibility. Over time, the cartilage (more on this later) that coats the joint’s surface starts to break down, whether from regular wear and tear, injury, or illness. Eventually, the cartilage completely disappears, resulting in bone-on-bone action. If left untreated, bone spurs can develop along the vertebrae and on the facet joints themselves. This is facet joint disease. As the disease worsens, the spine can start to lose flexibility and become stiff. If caught early on, patients can find relief from facet joint disease. This is why it is imperative you contact Crescent Pain Relief today if you are experiencing any of the symptoms we will discuss below.

What Are the Facet Joints?

For every vertebra in the spine, there are two sets of facet joints (one facing upward and one downward). As with many of the other joints in the body, the facet joints sole purpose is to connect the vertebrae together, helping to support the back and increase mobility. Additionally, they also work to keep the spine stabilized and protect the many important nerves along the spine. The facet joints are lined with cartilage in order to ensure movement along the spine is smooth. This cartilage also serves as shock absorbers for the natural pressure put on the spine.

The facet joints are a vital structural part of the body. They are constantly working to keep you upright and steady. When these joints wear down, it can lead to pain, problems with posture, and other serious problems.

What Are the Symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome?

There are a handful of specific symptoms that come along with facet joint disease, including:

  • Back pain
  • Constant or intermittent aching
  • Tenderness in the back
  • Curvature of the spine
  • Pain that radiates from the back of the neck to the shoulders
  • Bone spurs
  • Inflammation
  • Constant or intermittent throbbing
  • Locking of the joints
  • Pain when twisting or bending
  • Pain when twisting or bending

It is important to keep in mind that the symptoms a person will experience will vary depending on how deteriorated the joint is.

Causes of Facet Joint Disease

Facet joint disease due to regular wear and tear is very common. However, some patients may experience advanced degeneration because of certain lifestyle choices, injury, or common degenerative diseases. Some of the most common causes of facet disease include:

  • Traumatic injuries, such as a car accident or fall
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Malnutrition

If you have questions about this or would like to schedule an appoint with Dr. Shaikh for an evaluation, please contact Crescent Pain Relief today. We have a range of services aimed at reducing your symptoms and eliminating any pain, including facet injections.