Symptoms of lumbar facet syndrome

If you have been diagnosed with lumbar facet syndrome, you may experience symptoms that affect your lower back, buttocks, thighs, lower legs and feet. Facet syndrome, also known as spinal arthritis, is a condition in which the layer of cartilage on the facet joints breaks down due to age, injury or repetitive actions.

This cartilage acts as a cushion, protecting the vertebrae from friction as they pivot and bend. As the cartilage wears down over time, the surfaces of the facet joints become inflamed and uncomfortable as they rub against each other. Inflammation may stimulate bone spur (osteophyte) development near the joints, which can increase the risk of a compressed nerve in the spinal canal.

The resulting facet syndrome symptoms can include lower back pain, tenderness, stiffness, radiating pain down the buttocks or back of the thighs, pain when twisting or arching the lower back and limited mobility and range of motion. To learn about the treatments available to ease these debilitating symptoms, read the following article.

Conservative treatments for lumbar facet syndrome

If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain and find a treatment to help you get back to your life. Doctors usually suggest conservative treatments to help relieve the symptoms of lumbar facet syndrome. These may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Posture modification
  • Muscle relaxants

Alternative treatments like acupuncture, herbal supplements, massage and chiropractic adjustments may also be helpful in treating facet joint discomfort. If conservative and alternative treatments have not effectively relieved your lumbar facet syndrome symptoms after several weeks or months, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how you may benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery.

Surgical treatments for lumbar facet syndrome

Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped thousands of patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain each year, including the pain caused by facet disease. Because we take a minimally invasive approach to the spine, our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery and our patients experience a shorter recovery time as well as a lower risk of complication.^

Our procedures include a decompression surgery, which is often used to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve by taking out a small piece of the damaged spine. In cases of severe spinal damage, a stabilization surgery is used to support the spine by inserting an artificial disc or bone graft to the damaged area. To learn if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery to treat lumbar facet syndrome, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a free MRI review.*