Facet Disease – Alternative Treatments

Facet disease, the arthritic deterioration of the joints that allow the vertebrae to articulate, is often asymptomatic. However, should it produce symptoms such as neck or back pain, tingling, numbness, stiffness or muscle weakness, you might seek information about one or more alternative treatments. This course of action typically would follow an unsuccessful regimen of mainstream conservative treatments, such as pain medication, physical therapy or behavior modification. Alternative treatment options include mind-body intervention, manipulative and body-based methods, energy therapies and biologically based therapies.

What are biologically based therapies?

When you seek relief from symptoms associated with facet disease, your choice of alternative treatments depends primarily on personal preference. Because most of the alternative treatments available lack scientific support for their efficacy, it’s important to talk to your physician about your options.

One of those options, biologically based therapies, relies on diet therapy, herbal medicine, orthomolecular (nutrient-based) medicine and chelation therapy (removal of certain heavy metals from the body). Biologically based therapies include:

  • Herbal supplements – These are a type of dietary supplements and are also referred to by the shorthand, “botanicals.” They are plant-based supplements, and are often taken in the form of pills or dissolved in water. Anecdotally, some plant-based supplements are believed to have palliative effects, though the Food and Drug Administration warns against the overuse of certain types of plants.
  • Homeopathy – The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines this as an alternative medical system that seeks to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself by giving it very small doses of highly diluted substances.
  • Pain patches – Prescription-strength (Flector or fentanyl) or over-the-counter medicine (camphor, menthol or a pain-killing balm) is absorbed through the skin from the interior of an adhesive patch.

When more is needed to relieve symptoms of facet disease

If alternative treatments prove ineffective, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures can help you find relief from neck and back pain. We will gladly provide you with a review of your MRI or CT scan.