If you’re experiencing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness that can accompany facet joint syndrome, exercises of any type are probably the last thing on your mind. However, you may be surprised to know that healthy amounts of exercise involving low-impact activities can actually help you to reduce pain and mange your symptoms. And, while intermittent periods of rest can be a beneficial part of any treatment regimen, keep in mind that staying active will help you to heal, both physically and mentally.
How exercise can help facet joint syndrome
Your physician or a physical therapist should be able to give you a list of exercises that have proven effective for patients dealing with facet joint syndrome in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar regions of the spine. He or she can also tell you more about the many benefits that exercise can provide, including:
- Endorphins – Exercise releases endorphins, which are your body’s own natural painkillers. These bind to pain receptors and help diminish the pain signals being sent to the brain.
- Muscle strength – Strengthening the muscles of the spine and the abdomen can help take painful pressure off of the facet joints.
- Circulation – Healthy circulation ensures that blood is delivered to the spine. Since blood carries large amounts of nutrients, good blood flow can promote the overall health of the spine.
Combining exercise with other conservative treatments
In addition to exercise, several other conservative, non-invasive treatments have proven highly effective for patients who are experiencing facet disease, joint instability, joint stiffness, neural compression or the painful feeling of bone-on-bone contact. Pain medication, hot/cold compresses, behavior modification and gentle stretching are some possible options for you to discuss with your physician.
In the event that weeks or months of conservative treatments do not help your symptoms to abate, your physician may suggest that you consider spine surgery. Keep in mind that there are alternatives to highly invasive open neck and back surgeries. Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive procedures that are effective alternatives to open spine surgery and have helped tens of thousands of patients experiencing chronic neck and back pain. Contact us for more information or for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan.