Facet Disease | Massage
Facet disease, or spinal arthritis, can be a debilitating condition for some patients. Using massage as a tool for pain relief can be helpful, as it can stimulate blood flow and release muscle tension. It should be noted, however, that it is always advisable to check with your physician before scheduling any type of massage. Additionally, you should only use a certified massage therapist who specializes in treating neck and back conditions.
Facet disease symptoms
Facet disease is characterized by degenerative changes within the facet joints as a result of age, injury or repetitive actions. These joints serve as the connecting points of each articulating vertebra in the spine and allow us a wide range of motion to bend, twist and maintain flexibility. Through normal wear and tear, the cartilage that lines the facet joints begins to break down, which can lead to exposed vertebral bone rubbing on bone. As a result of this action, pain, stiffness, tenderness and inflammation may develop in and around the affected joint. Additionally, bone spurs could form and may impinge the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root. A new set of symptoms can occur from nerve compression, including localized nerve pain and radiating symptoms of pain, tingling, weakness, cramping, spasms and numbness in the arms or legs.
Seeing a massage therapist
Your massage therapist should perform a thorough intake interview before beginning any sort of facet disease massage treatment so he or she is aware of what spinal areas and movements trigger pain. Your therapist may initially perform long, fluid massage strokes to warm the muscles and promote blood flow to the area, all while avoiding excessive pressure in painful, arthritic areas. Deeper, more targeted massage may ease muscle spasms and release tension around the affected joint.
Laser Spine Institute
Despite the best efforts of a therapist, however, there is no cure for arthritis, and facet disease pain may be too great for massage to provide adequate pain relief. If this sounds familiar, Laser Spine Institute’s use of state-of-the-art techniques allows our orthopedic surgeons to treat spinal arthritis pain with minimally invasive, outpatient procedures. To learn more about our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute and receive a review of your MRI or CT scan.