Facet joint syndrome treatment

Facet joint syndrome treatment focuses on relieving the pain, discomfort and limited range of motion that often accompany this age-related form of arthritis. The exact location and extent of symptoms depend on where the affected facet joints are located in the spine. Facet joint syndrome is most common in the cervical (upper) and lumbar (lower) regions of the spine, since these areas are more flexible and are therefore more prone to deterioration of the cartilaginous lining of the joints than the more fixed thoracic (middle) spine.

If your life is being disrupted by facet joint syndrome, you know how frustrating these symptoms can be. By learning more about the treatments available, you can work more closely with your doctor to develop a care plan with the best chance of returning you to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Conservative and alternative treatments for facet syndrome

Surgery is almost always a last-resort treatment for this condition, with patients often finding satisfactory relief by following a course of conservative treatment. Upon diagnosis of facet joint syndrome, your doctor may recommend:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Posture correction
  • Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or losing weight
  • Physical therapy
  • Regular exercise

Some patients also report benefiting from alternative therapies such as acupuncture or the use of herbal supplements. While there is debate among mainstream medical practitioners about the effectiveness of alternative medicine, some doctors are receptive to using these methods to complement a more conventional treatment plan. Always consult with your primary care physician when exploring these options.

Surgical treatments

If several weeks or months of conservative or alternative treatment provide little or no relief, you may want to consider minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our muscle-sparing procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^

Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery and for a no-cost review of your MRI* to find out if you may be a candidate.