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Facet Joint Syndrome Exercises and Treatments

Facet Joint Syndrome Exercises and Treatments

Facet joint pain, also called facet syndrome, often co-occurs with other common spinal conditions like spondylosis (degenerative disc disease). If you’ve been struggling with uncomfortable symptoms like stiffness or intermittent sharp pain in your spine, facet joint pain could be to blame.

Keep reading to learn more about this condition and how pain management can help you find relief.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Facet Joint Pain

Facet joints are small joints that connect vertebral bones together. They provide both stability and mobility in the spine. Facet joints also help form the bony openings through which nerves from the spinal cord leave the spinal column and travel to other parts of the body, including the legs and arms.

Facet joints can become inflamed, irritated, or misaligned due to injury or an underlying health condition like spondylosis. Since these joints exist in the neck, upper back and lower back, signs, and symptoms vary depending on where the irritated joints are located. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of facet joint pain include:

  • Stiffness in the back (e.g., a person may struggle to turn around while driving to look behind them)
  • Pain at the level of the affected facet joint—this pain can feel dull, achy, or even sharp with certain movements

If swelling and inflammation near the facet joint become significant enough to compress a nearby spinal nerve, a person may notice signs and symptoms of spinal nerve root compression, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in an arm or leg.

Exercises for Facet Joint Pain

Facet joint pain can make it difficult to work, drive, sleep, or even simply get dressed in the morning. We encourage anyone experiencing facet joint pain and other symptoms to seek professional care from a pain doctor or physical therapist. There are also some exercises you can do on your own to help with daily pain relief when in between treatments from your provider. Top exercises for facet joint pain include:

  • Knee to chest: lay on your back. Gently tighten your abdominal muscles and lift both knees toward your chest. Gently hug your knees for 30 to 60 seconds, then relax. You can also try this exercise using one leg at a time.
  • Posterior pelvic tilt: lay on your back with your feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Tuck your bottom and press your lower back flat against the ground. Repeat 20 to 30 times. This is great for building core strength, which is essential for overall spine health!
  • Walking: grab your phone, a friend, or even your dog and head out for a 10 to 20-minute walk around your neighborhood. Aerobic exercise can reduce pain, improve mood, and even help you sleep better.

Facet Pain Treatment

Pain in the facet joints of the spine rarely occurs in isolation. Instead, facet joint syndrome often co-occurs with other pain-causing conditions, like spondylosis. This is why working with a pain management clinic can be extremely helpful.

Pain management practices offer treatments that cover all kinds of chronic pain conditions, instead of focusing on only one region of the body or one type of injury. Our patients with facet joint pain often benefit from services like:

  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Prescription and over-the-counter pain medications

Could You Have Facet Joint Syndrome?

To connect with a team of pain management doctors in Columbus and Springfield, OH, contact Integrated Pain Solutions today by calling 614-383-6450 or click here to schedule an appointment.