Lumbar facet syndrome symptoms

If you have been diagnosed with lumbar facet syndrome, you may experience symptoms that affect your lower back, buttocks, thighs and, possibly, 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 pinched nerve in the spinal canal.

The resulting symptoms can include the following:

  • Lower back pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Radiating pain down the buttocks or back of the thighs
  • Pain when twisting or arching the lower back
  • Limited mobility and range of motion

Treatments for lumbar facet syndrome

If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your physician to determine the cause of your pain and find a treatment to help you get back to your life.

Physicians usually suggest conservative (nonsurgical) treatments to help alleviate the symptoms of lumbar facet syndrome. These may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot/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.

An additional treatment option

If conservative and alternative treatments have not effectively relieved your lumbar facet syndrome symptoms, contact Laser Spine Institute.

Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, including the pain caused by facet disease. Because we take a minimally invasive approach to the spine, our procedures are proven safer and effective compared to traditional open back surgery^, and our patients experience a shorter recovery time^ and 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 spine damage, a stabilization surgery is used to support the spine by inserting an artificial disc and/or bone grafts to the damaged area.

For more information about our minimally invasive spine surgery to treat lumbar facet syndrome, contact Laser Spine Institute today.