Facet disease prevention can help you to avoid the debilitating discomfort of this degenerative condition, and the lifestyle and behavior modifications that play a role in prevention could be the start to a renewed body and a renewed outlook on life. Remember, your body functions as a singular unit, so anything you can do to improve the functionality of its parts will also improve the functionality of its whole.
The Anatomy of Facet Disease
Facet disease involves the gradual deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the facet joints of the spine. As we age, the cartilage deteriorates and is less able to serve its protective role of helping joints move fluidly. When your facet joints, which connect adjacent vertebrae, have to move without padding or lubrication, symptoms can include crepitus (the sensation of bone grinding against bone), throbbing, or spontaneous joint lockage. Bone spurs, or osteophytes, can also develop and cause neural compression, which can lead to additional symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the extremities innervated by the compressed nerves. Facet disease can occur in the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), or lumbar (lower back) regions of the spine.
Simple Steps for Facet Disease Prevention
Although overexertion, overuse, or improper use of facet joints can accelerate the development of facet joint degeneration, remaining immobile and leading a sedentary lifestyle can also be dangerous. Immobility causes circulation and muscle mass to be reduced, while increasing body mass (weight) means your spine has more of a burden to support, without the help of strong muscles. Inactivity can also cause joint stiffness and decreased flexibility, both of which cause your joints to be more fragile. To avoid all of these risks, it’s important that you stay fit and active. Walk, swim, or do mild weight-training so that you can reap the cardiovascular benefits without exerting force on the joints. A healthy diet will also help with joint lubrication, autoimmune response, and weight management. Joint health can also be affected by stress, so sessions of meditation or gentle yoga may be able to help release spinal tension.
Treatment for Facet Disease
If you develop facet joint pain despite preventative measures, conservative treatments will most likely enable you to manage your symptoms effectively. In the event that your facet disease symptoms become chronic (lasting three months or longer), you may begin to consider more targeted forms of pain relief.
The medical team at Laser Spine Institute would like to tell you more about our minimally invasive, endoscopic procedures that have helped tens of thousands of people rediscover lives without back pain. Contact us today for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.