Facet disease is a degenerative spine condition that involves the deterioration of the facet joints in your spine, which are the joints that connect the vertebrae to one another, top to bottom. The degenerative aspect of this condition means that it occurs over time as part of the natural aging process. Just like any joint in your body, facet joints can lose their cartilage over the years due to normal wear and tear.
Causes of Facet Disease
Just like you can’t turn back time to reverse other aspects of getting older, age-related deterioration of your facet joints is unavoidable. At first, the wearing away of facet joint cartilage can cause pain and stiffness in the neck and back. When a facet joint’s cartilage degenerates to a point where there is bone-on-bone contact, the result can be bone spurs that can impinge on nearby spinal nerves, meaning more problems can arise.
If your facet disease has reached a point where spinal nerve compression is occurring, some of the symptoms you might experience include:
Possible Treatment Choices
While you may not be able to prevent facet disease from occurring in the first place, since it is closely related to the natural process of getting older, you can take steps to treat its symptoms. Fortunately, a host of conservative treatments have proven to be effective in reducing the pain and other symptoms associated with facet disease. Physical therapy, exercise, stretching, hot cold therapy, over-the-counter or prescription medications, and other options have all helped countless people treat their facet disease symptoms. However, some people simply can’t find relief through these conservative measures, and instead turn to surgery. If you’re still experiencing painful symptoms after weeks or months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our revolutionary outpatient procedures that can help you rediscover your life without back and neck pain.