Understanding facet disease types and how to address them

Facet Disease

There are a variety of facet disease types that can cause neck pain, back pain and general discomfort. An assortment of treatment options is available to address these symptoms. Facet disease occurs in your facet joints, which are located between your spinal vertebrae and allow your spine to bend and flex. With this condition, activities like tying your shoes, planting flowers and picking up your grandchildren can become difficult to complete.

Over time, the facet joints can become stressed or damaged because of normal wear from injury to the neck or back, or the degeneration of a spinal disc. The cartilage that coats the joint can eventually break down as well — a condition commonly known as facet disease. Friction and swelling in the joint may occur as a result, irritating the nerves in the area and causing pain, stiffness and/or tenderness. Read on to learn about the forms of facet disease and the treatments available to ease your pain and discomfort.

Cervical and lumbar facet disease types

With facet disease, the types of symptoms vary, depending on where along the spinal column the issue began. For instance, if the worn-out facet joint is located in the neck or cervical region, you may experience discomfort in your neck, upper back or shoulders. Headaches can also occur with cervical facet joint problems.

The lumbar region, or lower back, is also vulnerable to facet joint problems. When this region of the spine is affected, you may feel pain or stiffness in your lower back. Unlike other degenerative spine conditions like herniated discs and bone spurs, none of the various facet disease types usually result in pain that extends into the lower legs and feet.

What can be done for facet disease?

If facet disease is the suspected cause of your discomfort, your doctor may order a physical examination, facet joint injections and maybe even an MRI or CT scan to determine the full extent of your spinal degeneration. Treatment may begin with pain-alleviation efforts, such as a combination of stretches, low-impact exercises and over-the-counter pain medications. Regardless of the facet disease types people experience, these methods can effectively offer relief.

For others, however, more specialized treatment options may be suggested. Laser Spine Institute has board-certified surgeons+ who can address the various facet disease types that occur, and can do so while reducing hospital-associated costs and shortening the recovery time.^ Contact us today to learn more about the ways in which we can help alleviate your neck and back pain.

By using a small incision that is muscle sparing, our dedicated team is able to remove the swelling and inflammation within the facet joint. The nerve within the joint is then deadened to relieve the pain associated with this condition. To learn if you are a potential candidate for our facet disease surgery, reach out to us today and ask for a free MRI review.* We can return you to the active life you enjoy.