Facet syndrome affects areas of the body beyond the spine

If you have facet syndrome, you probably know that its main effect is the deterioration of the joints in your spine. It only makes sense that neck or back pain could result from the condition. However, it is also typical to experience pain and other symptoms like tingling, numbness, cramping and muscle weakness in other areas throughout the body. If you’re experiencing these traveling symptoms, learning more about how facet syndrome affects the rest of the body can help you with your treatment by making you a more informed and engaged patient.

Why the rest of the body can be affected

Facet syndrome is a condition defined by the wearing away of the smooth cartilage that lines the joints of the spine. That material normally helps the bones of the spinal joint glide against each other. When cartilage has been worn away, the bones can end up grinding against each other, causing inflammation and the growth of bone spurs. These spurs can cause more pain in the joint itself and also place pressure on surrounding nerve roots or the spinal cord. These nerves send sensory and motor signals to the rest of the body and interference with their normal function can lead to a wide range of problems.

Cervical facet syndrome problems

If the facet joints in your cervical (upper) spine have been affected by deterioration, you may experience additional problems beyond localized symptoms like neck stiffness and pain. For example, the tension in your neck may lead to headaches. Also, a pinched nerve in your neck can cause pain, weakness or numbness in your shoulders, arms or hands.

Lumbar facet syndrome problems

Facet joints that wear down in the lumbar (lower) spinal region can limit your ability to bend or twist your back. They can also cause pain to radiate down the buttocks or thighs. When bone spur growth has occurred due to the loss of cartilage, it can lead to a pinched nerve that causes weakness in the legs or feet.

Laser Spine Institute

While many patients are able to find lasting relief from facet syndrome through pursuing conservative treatments like medication, physical therapy and hot/cold compression therapy, they don’t work for everyone. If your doctor suggests you consider surgery after attempting weeks and months of conservative treatment, explore the procedures offered by Laser Spine Institute. Our board-certified surgeons+ specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery designed to treat degenerative spine conditions like facet syndrome.

Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to help you determine if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.