Wesley Chapel Facet Syndrome Doctor
If you are suffering from considerable back and neck pain, your facet joints may be responsible. Many people are not aware of the importance of these small joints in the spine, but they are crucial for comfortable movement.
A Wesley Chapel facet syndrome doctor could help alleviate your pain through one of several methods used for this condition. By working with an experienced spine doctor, you can be sure you are getting the treatment you need to be able to recover.
The Facet Joints
The spine’s facet joints allow flexibility and the ability to twist, rotate, and bend. These small joints are located between and behind the vertebrae, with two joints at every level of the vertebral column. The facet joints aid in keeping the spine stable and each facet joint is encased in a capsule containing lubricating fluid.
These joints are in almost constant use, so degeneration over time is common. As they wear, the cartilage thins, resulting in the development of bone spurs as the bone and joints come into direct contact. The nerve root is located under the facet joint, meaning any joint enlargement can cause a pinched nerve.
Also known as facet joint syndrome or facet arthritis, this condition results in pain as the joint degenerates. It is one of the most common causes of chronic back pain, but the level of joint degeneration and the level of pain depends on the individual.
Facet syndrome may result from trauma, and those who have experienced whiplash from a car accident or other cause are especially vulnerable. Poor posture can also contribute to the development of facet syndrome. The most common cause of facet joint syndrome, however, is osteoarthritis due to aging.
Those suffering from facet syndrome may have to turn the entire body to look to either side. Getting up from a chair is difficult, and the person may even lose the ability to stand up straight. Other facet syndrome symptoms include pain, muscle weakness, and numbness in the areas where the nerves are affected.
Getting Treatment in Wesley Chapel
To diagnose the condition, a Wesley Chapel facet syndrome doctor conducts a thorough physical examination, takes a complete medical history, and observes the patient’s movement. X-rays are generally ordered so that any spinal abnormalities are detected and a CT scan can show additional detail. Some patients may also undergo a bone scan so that the doctor may determine the level of facet joint inflammation.
Diagnosis of facet syndrome also involves injecting anti-inflammatory medications and anesthetics into the joint. If the patient immediately feels better post-injection, the facet syndrome diagnosis is confirmed.
Patients may benefit from conservative treatment, including physical therapy and the use of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen, for pain relief. If that does not work, injections of corticosteroids into the affected area can offer long-term relief of facet syndrome pain.
For severely afflicted patients, a surgery known as rhizotomy is recommended. This procedure deadens the nerve root via radio waves from a heated probe, shutting off the pain signals from the nerve to the brain. The pain relief from a rhizotomy can last for a long time – even years.
A Wesley Chapel Facet Syndrome Doctor is Here to Help
When you are experiencing decreased flexibility, it may be the result of facet syndrome. For an accurate diagnosis, contact a Wesley Capel facet syndrome doctor. An experienced doctor could run tests to help diagnose and treat to condition to help you feel better. To learn more about your options, call today.