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Facet Syndrome

The facet joints in the spine play a critical role in comfortable movement and proper support for the weight of the upper body. When facet joints are functioning well, people are able to perform normal daily activities by bending, leaning, and changing positions with ease. Certain situations, however, can trigger the development of facet syndrome, a painful and sometimes restricting health condition.

Causes

Oftentimes, facet syndrome develops when the facet joints become inflamed or worn from repetitive movements, straining and abnormal positions, and chronically-poor posture. Spinal trauma sustained in an accident could also lead to the condition. Other health disorders, such as spinal arthritis or degenerative disc disease, may trigger the onset of facet syndrome as well.

Symptoms

The symptoms associated with facet syndrome might vary from person to person. Persistent or intermittent back and neck pain is generally the most common symptom and may affect the base of the neck, shoulders, back, or hips and buttocks. The pain is the result of uncontrollable or restricted movement within the facet joints or from the inflamed tissue. Long periods of inactivity may aggravate the condition and produce stiffness that could make it difficult to transition to a new position, such as standing after sitting for hours at a desk. Conversely, pain generating from certain facet joints could also make sitting for periods of time a painful endeavor for some people.

Treatments

Treatment for facet syndrome is typically geared toward pain management, improving stability, and reestablishing flexibility. A careful individualized regimen of pain medication may contribute to some relief from symptoms. In some cases, however, pain might be controlled with minimal pharmaceutical intervention depending on the treatment therapies used and the health needs of each individual. Treatment options for people suffering from facet syndrome could include one or more of the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory corticosteroid injections: X-rays indicate placement of a combination of anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and a local anesthetic into the facet joints to provide diagnosis and pain relief for up to six months.
  • Cryotherapy: This pain management technique is designed to interrupt pain sensation by exposing nerves to pressurized liquid nitrous oxide, possibly allowing a patient to avoid medicinal or surgical intervention and keeping surrounding tissue unaffected and undamaged.
  • Spinal cord stimulation: An implantable device changes the way pain is perceived by the rest of the body by channeling a mild electrical current to the spinal cord from its position in the spinal epidural space.
  • Prolotherapy: This treatment option is part of regenerative medicine and calls for controlled irritation of ligaments and tendons that could be contributing to pain in order to trigger the body’s natural ability to heal and promote healthy tissue regeneration.

The key to the diagnosis and treatment of facet syndrome is getting appropriate medical attention for the specific symptoms affecting the individual. An accurate diagnosis is important for patient care in order to rule out or identify other possible reasons for the presenting symptoms and invites the application of a recommended therapy for relieving discomfort. Some types of treatment also play a role in the diagnosis of the condition, such as the injection of anti-inflammatory corticosteroids with a local anesthetic. Any resulting relief, for example, may allow the medical professional to narrow down that the problem involves the facet joints.

Facet syndrome can be disabling and painful for many people. Thus, the prescribed treatment could be instrumental in improving overall well-being and achieving a higher-quality of life by minimizing or breaking up episodes of pain and restoring the ability to move safely while performing daily activities. Some situations may only call for simple lifestyle changes while others warrant ongoing monitoring from a professional familiar with the condition. Regardless of the specific cause of facet syndrome, the primary plan is to focus on individualized healing and getting closer to achieving one’s health goals.

If you think you may suffer from facet syndrome, contact Allied Pain & Spine Institute today to schedule your consultation with one of our specialists.

Our Patient Reviews

Allied Pain & Spine Institute

5.0

Based on 8 reviews

Michelle T.

I fly in to see Dr. Petros from Southern California.  I wouldn't do so if he wasn't the best there is.  He is compassionate and has always treated me kindly. I can tell he is sincere in the way he talks to me and is diligently looking for solutions that work best with me and my chronic pain needs.  Very out of the box approach, which I appreciate these days!  I would truly recommend Dr. Petros to anyone looking for a Dr. that not only cares about you as a patient but has the confidence and skill set to get results! His office staff is friendly and caring too.  Allied Pain and Spine Institute is the Gold Standard in pain care in my humble opinion!! When I find a doctor that understands the issue and always goes above and beyond to help me, I do what I can to continue seeing them. I am so glad I found this office!!

Louise W.

Dr Petros is amazing!  When he uses a needle his aim is "right on".  He is also very personable, an altogether great guy.  I always find my visits to him to be very informative. I have had both sides of my degenerated back injected (epidural shots) with complete success.  He allows me to have no sedative, which is cool because his jokes and stories in the operating room are really good.  He greatly enjoys his work, and enjoys the difficult challenges of getting a needle into the right place in my back.  My arthritic knee is perhaps more straight-forward, but other doctors have failed to give me pain relief.  Dr Petros studies the structure with ultrasound before injecting it.  The result - instant relief! On my recent visit for a broken back (ski accident) the doctor and staff were very accomodating to help me make a dinner engagement shortly after my appointment.  This is definitely a five-star operation!

Ellie O.

Wow, wonderful doctor!!! I avoid all the doctors like the plague...seriously it makes my blood pressure go up when I have to go but I chose Dr. Vaidya. My friend referred him to me, he's simply the best... TOP NOTCH!!! He turned out to be a breath of fresh air. Dr. Vaidya really stands out head and shoulders above everyone else. I usually don't write reviews but he's so outstanding that I really wanted to do it for him. He's the most honest and caring doctor I have met.  He listens and gives you full attention and committed to find the best individual solution for you. He always goes out of his way to get you the most appropriate treatment and he will make it happen. He's very knowledgeable in his field. He's very professional, friendly, personable and definitely easy to talk to. His integrity is very valuable. He's one of the sharpest and most driven individuals you will ever meet.

Keith M.

Simply the best doctors and staff in the area. I've fought back and neck pain for over 30 years, and Dr. Petros and his team have kept me from the operating table and able to enjoy my life. I've had injections, acupuncture, as well as back braces. He listens to my concerns, cares very deeply for my pain and discomfort, and has successfully treated everything from stenosis, pinched nerves, herniated disks, and even helped me with the symptoms from shingles and lung disease. I couldn't be happier with the care he has given me over the years.

Kaitlin Z.

Dr. Vaidya has changed my life. I am in my late 20s with chronic pain and nothing had worked until I came here. All services here are wonderful and the staff is absolutely amazing. I can't recommend enough!!

Tracy B.

I have been a patient of Dr. Vaidya for a few years after not getting what I needed from other spine and pain doctors. I was looking for a doctor who would think outside the box and come up with some other ways to treat my growing amount of pain. Between Dr. Petros and Dr. Vaidya, they have brought me to a place where my pain is better managed. And let's just talk about bedside manners! I have never met doctors in the past 23 years of this back journey of mine that has as amazing bedside manners as these guys. I have cried and laughed with the team at Allied Spine. The way that I am always greeted and promptly cared for is bar none! The front office staff, and especially Nas, has been a God sent. I would never go anywhere else.

Justin P.

I am a new patient of DR Petros and my experience was great for my first two visits so far. He really takes time to listen to your issues and provides thorough answers and treatment options. The front desk staff are all very nice and respond in a timely manner to requests. Highly recommended all around!

Lisa A.

I have seen Dr. Vaidya for about 2 years. He is an amazing doctor.the attention and care you receive is well over 5 stars. He knows who I am by my face, he knows my health history with out looking in my chart, he remembers conversations we have had at previous appointments. He truly cares for his patients. I will be moving our of state, and will travel back here each month to see doctor Vaidya. I lost my insurance over a year ago and pay out of pocket to see the doctor, it is worth every penny to be treated with respect, as a person and with care. I love all the staff and feel like I am visiting family when I come in for my appointments.

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