Three common causes of facet syndrome

Look into facet syndrome causes using Laser Spine Institute's helpful guide.

Facet syndrome is a type of osteoarthritis that develops in the facet joints of the spine. In most cases, it is caused by nothing more than ordinary, age-related degeneration.

The facet joints make it possible for the spine to bend and twist. However, the cartilage that protects these joints can wear down with time and the bones can eventually press up against each other. This can lead to a painful grinding sensation and the formation of bone spurs, which can cause additional symptoms if they compress a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord.

Issues that can lead to facet syndrome

Although the condition is usually the result of aging coupled with basic wear and tear, there are other risk factors that can lead to the development of facet syndrome. Three potential causes include:

  1. Trauma from sports accidents, slip-and-fall accidents and automobile crashes
  2. Being overweight
  3. A sedentary lifestyle that leads to muscle weakness and overall poor physical fitness

While physicians may consider the underlying cause of a patient’s facet syndrome when creating a treatment plan, the same types of treatment can typically be used regardless of whether the condition resulted from routine wear and tear or an unexpected spinal trauma.

Surgical and nonsurgical treatments

In most cases, patients are advised to address their symptoms with a combination of conservative (nonsurgical) treatments, at least for the first few weeks of treatment. Options such as pain medication, physical therapy, stretching exercises, corticosteroid injections and lifestyle modifications can be highly effective at alleviating facet syndrome symptoms.

Some patients, however, do not obtain the desired results from conservative treatments. For these individuals, surgery may be an option.

At Laser Spine Institute, we perform minimally invasive procedures such to help address facet syndrome and other common spine conditions. Since 2005, we have helped more than 60,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Our surgeons perform more minimally invasive, outpatient procedures each month than any other spine surgery provider in the world, making us a leading choice for individuals with facet syndrome, bone spurs and other related conditions.

If you’re wondering whether you’re a candidate for minimally invasive, outpatient surgery for facet syndrome, contact Laser Spine Institute today to receive a no-cost MRI review.*