Millions of Americans today suffer from chronic pain in some way. One of the most common types of chronic pain is neck pain, which can be caused by facet joint syndrome. As you select pain management services, it’s important to find out the root cause of it. That way, you’ll be able to find the best treatment option and enjoy a pain-free lifestyle.
At St Louis Pain Consultants, we provide specialized treatment options that best address the unique scenarios of each patient. Today, we’ll discuss what a facet joint is, the causes of your neck pain, and ways you can address it.
What Best Describes a Facet Joint?
Your facet joints are the connections that are between the bones of your spine. They serve as passageways for nerves to go from the spinal cord to your arms, legs, and other body parts. These joints also have cushioned swivels that allow you to rotate and twist your spine.
As with knee joints, they have cartilage that allows for smooth, pain-free movement where two bones meet. Facet joints also keep your back from slipping too far forward or twisting nonstop.
How A Facet Joint Causes Neck Pain?
As with any joint, your facet joints can become inflamed or irritated as time passes by. This can turn into pain and tenderness. These factors below can cause this to occur.
- Cartilage degeneration
- Excess pressure
- Poor posture
- Tedious movement
With the added pressure on the facet joints, the cartilage at your joints can wear down. This can cause you to damage your facet joints and form bone spurs. If this occurs, pain and muscle spasms can occur and result in facet joint syndrome.
Symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome
Facet joint syndrome is more likely to occur in your neck but is also very common in your lower back. Pain in the facet joints can spread to other areas like your arms, shoulder, or back. Headaches can also develop as well.
Here are some other symptoms to keep track of as when seeking pain management services.
- A feeling of tenderness that goes over the inflamed facet joints
- Discomfort as you lean back
- Pain that goes to your buttocks and down the back of your lower leg
- Some degree of loss in your spinal muscle flexibility
You could also worsen your pain when sitting in one position for long periods of time, like when driving.
How To Treat Chronic Neck Pain
Treatment for neck pain caused by facet joint syndrome largely depends on the type of injury to your problem joint. For osteoarthritis, treatment can include supplements to help with the joint and prescription drugs to control pain. If you suffered a sprain, you might need facet steroid injections and physical therapy.
As for severe cases of neck pain, your doctor may advise that you get a rhizotomy. This is a procedure that involves destroying certain spinal nerve roots. This keeps your brain from receiving pain signals. If all options are exhausted, invasive surgery may be required for neck pain from facet joint syndrome.
Choose Pain Management Services That Help Bring You Relief
If you believe you’re suffering from chronic neck pain, then it’s advised that you seek pain management services soon. At St Louis Pain Consultants, we specialize in dealing with chronic pain and facet joint syndrome. We’ll put together a tailored plan that works best for you and puts you on a path to recovery. Schedule a consultation with us today, and we’ll help you feel whole again.