Facet disease occurs when there is a degeneration, or breakdown, of the facet joints, which are located between, and behind, your spine’s vertebra. These joints connect the vertebrae together and help control your spine’s motion and flexibility. Because your spine may undergo more than one million twisting and turning motions every year, the joints and their protective cartilage can wear down over time, leading to inflammation, pain and decreased mobility. You can educate yourself further on why facet joints are prone to degeneration by reviewing our facet disease causes page.
Although facet disease is most common in the lower back, it may radiate down to the buttocks, hips and back of your upper leg. Facet disease can be tricky to diagnose because it closely mimics the symptoms of a herniated disc, a fracture, or a torn muscle. Possible effects of deteriorating facet joints include:
- Pain in the lower back
- Persistent tenderness around the inflamed joints
- Muscle spasms
- Spinal joint stiffness
- Decreased spinal flexibility
- Discomfort when leaning backwards
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your physician or other healthcare provider. He or she can determine whether or not the pain you feel is due to facet disease and recommend various treatment options including proper exercises, posture tips and osteopathic manipulations. Visit our facet disease treatments page for more details.
Sometimes patients diagnosed with facet disease need more than standard treatment to get back into a smooth motion. Thankfully, there’s another option for pain relief—minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute. With a quicker recuperation time than other treatments like open-back surgery, you’ll be able to swing your golf club pain-free once again! For a free MRI or CT scan review, and to learn more information about our institute, contact us today.