Back pain is an all-too-common occurrence, and many people are able to link their back pain to a particular cause: trauma from a car accident; lifting something heavy; or repetitive motion; to name a few. However, sometimes, the root of back pain isn’t easy to pinpoint.
Experiencing unexplained bouts of back pain can be frustrating, debilitating and stressful, especially when they occur irregularly. At Advanced Spine & Posture, we see many patients in Las Vegas, NV who deal with this issue for many years. Fortunately, if you suffer from this kind of pain, there may be an answer: Facet joint syndrome.
Facet joint syndrome is a degenerating disease of the spine’s facet joints. It can cause irregular periods of acute pain along the spine. Knowing the particular signs of this condition may help you identify the problem and seek treatment from a Chiropractic BioPhysics-trained spinal expert.
The importance of facet joints and how they degrade
A facet joint is a joint at the back of your spine, composed of two bony surfaces lined with cartilage to promote smooth movement. Your spine has many facet joints, and they sit at the points where each vertebra, or spinal bone, touches the one above and below it.
Facet joints are extremely important because they facilitate movement in the spine, such as bending and twisting. They also limit your range of motion so you can’t bend too far and damage your nerves.
Unfortunately, like other areas of the body with cartilage, facet joints can get worn down over time, reducing the cartilage between the bones. This often happens because of a change in the way the facet joints are aligned, potentially caused by aging; excessive weight bearing; spinal injuries; arthritis; and other damage.
When the bones are able to rub together, inflammation and swelling occur, resulting in pain in the neck or back.
Understanding the signs of facet joint syndrome
Because back pain is not always able to be linked directly to a cause, it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms and areas of pain so you can identify what kind of issue you might be experiencing. Facet joint syndrome has a few distinct signs that differentiate it from other back pain problems.
- First, facet joint syndrome often produces irregular periods of acute pain that you are unable to link to an obvious cause. The pain can be random, occurring once every few weeks. Typically, facet joint pain feels like a dull ache.
- Second, you may experience soreness if you touch the skin in the painful area. This is caused by the muscles around the spine reacting and tightening.
- Third, your pain may be relieved when you lean forward and may get worse when you bend backward. This is because of the pressure being removed or put on the facet joints in each posture.
Finally, your pain may begin or worsen after sitting for long periods of time. This is due to the pressure of gravity weighing against already tender facet joints.
Alleviating facet joint pain
If you believe you’re experiencing a problem with your facet joints, visit a chiropractor to discuss treatment options. Facet joint syndrome patients may respond well to physical therapy-type exercises and stretches, as well as chiropractic adjustments to properly align the spine and joints.
At Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV, our experts are experienced in identifying and implementing treatment plans for all kinds of back pain. Visit us today to see how we might help improve your condition. We’ll provide you with a free consultation and help you better understand your spine health situation.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.