FACET SYNDROME-Lakewood Chiropractic Clinic
Neck Pain-Renew Chiropractic-Lakewood
Low Back Pain-Renew Chiropractic Lakewood
The human spine is comprised of a three joint complex. The intervertebral disc and adjacent vertebral bodies make up the anterior aspect of each intervertebral segment. Posteriorly, each vertebral segment has two paired facet joints
The posterior facet joints are just like other joints in your body. They experience repetitive, constant motion, and thus, they can become worn or torn [Figure 2]. They also can become restricted in their movement and/or develop too much movement, which results in pain. The facet joints are shaped and angled differently in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. This allows for all of the available motion within the human spine.
Pain that emanates from the facet joints is termed “facet syndrome.” When suffering from facet syndrome, the facet joints become inflamed and may cause pain, soreness and/or stiffness. Cervical facet joint pain can be felt in the areas of the base of the skull, upper back, shoulders, mid-back or neck. Some patients may present with frequent headaches or even ringing in the ears.
Thoracic facet syndrome is less common than cervical and lumbar facet syndrome and is probably related to less motion available at these levels due to the thoracic articulations with the rib cage. Pain experienced in thoracic facet syndrome is likely to be felt locally near the affected segment near the midline.
In the lumbar spine, there is more motion available and forces are higher, thus pain emanating from these joints is quite common. Pain is usually felt directly over the affected joint(s), but may also be felt in the buttocks, hips, groin, and back of the thighs depending on which facet joint is injured.
In many cases, facet syndrome is caused by trauma, such as a whiplash injury of the neck suffered in a motor vehicle accident. Also, degenerative changes in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine can lead to abnormal stress and strain that results in an increased load on the facet joints. Finally, abnormal postures can overload spinal tissues, including the facet joints, and cause inflammation and pain in these joints.
Individuals suffering from facet syndrome may feel worse in the morning, due to increased inflammation and stiffness that occurs during sleep. They tend to have stiffness and usually will feel somewhat better after they have been moving around. As the day progresses they tend to be without pain as long as they keep active. However, for those having to work seated all day like working at a computer, they may find they are at a greater risk of pain throughout the day.
Risk Factors for Facet Syndrome
When a joint is damaged through normal deterioration, injury, or repetitive trauma, it may become swollen, painful, and stiff. Inflammation is usually temporary, but in arthritic joints, it may cause long-lasting or permanent disability. In addition to age, other risk factors for facet syndrome include:
- Excessive weight
- Overuse due to sports or heavy labor
- Family history of facet syndrome
- Presence of disease such as gout, other types of arthritis, or infections
- Damage may stem from injuries, including whiplash, sleeping with a twisted neck
- Or also a sudden jerk of the neck, twisting while lifting overhead, or trauma to the spine
Consider the Symptoms of Facet Syndrome
At first, you may simply experience an aching feeling in your neck or back that fades and returns again after overuse. Eventually, as the disease progresses, the pain occurs more frequently and lasts longer. One joint may be affected initially, but with time and continued activity more joints may deteriorate as well. Generally, there is a persistent tenderness over the irritated joint, some loss of flexibility, and pain that is aggravated by stretching or turning. Other symptoms vary depending on the location of the affected joint and may include:
- Pain that is often worse in the beginning and end of the day or with a change in weather
- Lower back pain that radiates into the buttocks, pelvic area, or thighs
- Neck pain that radiates into the shoulders, arms, or head
- Headaches at the base of the skull, aching behind the eyes, and/or ringing in the ears
- The sound of bone rubbing on bone when you move
- Abnormal curvature in the spine
- Weakness or numbness in your legs or arms
- Standing has some effect on facet joint pain
- Sitting or riding in the car for long periods of time can also significantly exacerbate the condition
Dr. Jason Jumper at Renew Chiropractic in Lakewood utilizes a Chiropractic Biophysics Technique, Pettibon adjustments and 3-dimensional mirror image exercises which involves triggering nerve receptors to signal muscles to pull the spine into alignment to alleviate neck pain symptoms. This allow us to realign the facet joints and take pressure off the nerves in the neck leading to a better potential for health.
You can get back your life and get relief from neck pain and low back pain today, by calling our Lakewood Chiropractic office. We proudly serve Lakewood, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Golden, Littleton and Denver. Call Dr. Jason Jumper at Renew Chiropractic in Lakewood Today! 720-493-5885
Important note: If you have been involved in a car accident or something similar, you may be experiencing severe neck pain or headaches from something called Whiplash. Seek treatment ASAP.