The facet joint is the linking portion of the spine between vertebrae that makes it possible for you to bend forward and twist from side to side. As with other parts of the spine, age-related degeneration can occur resulting in Facet Syndrome, a form of osteoarthritis. The facet joint can wear down and become inflamed making movement painful. The affected facet joints can occur at any point throughout the spine so symptoms can range in location and severity. Facet syndrome can also be the result of injury, such as whiplash from an automobile accident, so consulting with Dr. Bruggeman to identify the syndrome and its location is vital to treatment.
Pain from facet syndrome manifests from the inability to have the joints move smoothly within the spine, so it is often triggered by movement. Stiffness in localized areas such as the neck and lower back can be an indicator of an affected facet joint. For those experiencing facet syndrome in the upper back or neck, symptoms can include numbness and tingling in the arms and hands, aches and discomfort in the shoulders, and headaches. Facet syndrome in the lower back region can cause difficulty bending or standing straight as well as cramping in the buttocks and legs. Diagnosis begins by sharing a comprehensive list of your symptoms and their severity with Dr. Bruggeman.
After receiving a diagnosis, Dr. Bruggeman can evaluate what the best treatment option for your particular case of facet syndrome may be. Often conservative pain management methods such as physical therapy, medications, or injection therapy can provide temporary relief, but if quality of life has not returned after these nonoperative attempts, surgical options may be explored. The range of advanced, minimally invasive spine surgeries available through Texas Spine Care Center can be evaluated to provide lasting pain relief and restore mobility.
Take the first step toward a pain-free life. Use our online pain evaluation tool to determine what treatment may be right for you.