The knee cartilage is not the only one that may suffer from wear and tear. Just like any other joints, the ones located between the spinal vertebrae are not exempt from degenerative changes brought about by factors similar to those that cause osteoarthritis.
These factors include:
- Old age
- Repetitive movements
Experts in pain management in Pembroke Pines also warn that poor posture may also increase a patient’s risk for facet joint pain because a long-term, poor spinal alignment can affect the body’s overall weight distribution that may damage the spinal bones and cartilages supporting them.
What are the Facet Joints
The facets are synovial joints located between each vertebra, keeping the vertebrae together and allowing spinal movement and flexibility. The cartilage lining each facet and the synovial fluid lubricating them make it possible for the facet joints to glide and slide without over-twisting the spine.
Lumbar Facet Joint Pain in a Nutshell
Facet joint pain occurs due to degeneration of the spine so that the facet joints are forced to bear bodyweight unevenly. This leads to the wear and tear of the cartilage and formation of bone spurs. Just like in knee osteoarthritis, the spine becomes stiff, irritated and inflamed.
The pain is usually dull and felt in the lumbar area, or the lower back, and radiates to the buttocks and the back of the thighs. The lumbar facet joints are the most common location of lower back pain (LBP). In fact, 15-45% of patients with LBP trace the pain back to the lumbar facet joints.
Facet pain can also manifest in the cervical area, or the neck (cervical facet joint pain). The pain usually comes and goes a few times a month or a year. There is no specific pattern to its occurrence and it is generally unpredictable.
Other signs and symptoms of facet joint syndrome include:
- Spinal muscle inflexibility
- Tenderness in the area over the affected facet joint
- Pain when bending backward or twisting sideways
- Pain during long periods of inactivity
If you are suspecting facet joint pain, you should take action immediately. Pembroke pines pain management doctors warn that if not treated promptly, the pain can be disabling and may mimic the signs and symptoms of a herniated disc, a fracture, an infection, and even abdominal problems.
How Can Lumbar Facet Joint Pain be Prevented?
Avoiding certain risk factors can prevent the development of this condition. Keeping your posture and body weight in check is a good place to start. Doing exercises that strengthen the back is also helpful.
Manage Lumbar Facet Joint Pain in Dr. Escobar’s Pembroke Pines Pain Management Clinic
Dr. Escobar is a pain care specialist in Florida with years of experience in pain management. His clinic offers comprehensive and interventional pain management services. Our pain specialists are experts in performing procedures, such as spinal cord stimulation, platelet-rich plasma injections, epidural steroid injections, and other innovative techniques. All of which help relieve your pain and regain your quality of life.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.