Treatment for Facet Joint Syndrome in Carrollton, GA
Facet joints exist between each vertebrae of the spine. Naturally, our spines incur a large amount of wear and tear over the years, and can also be subject to injury at any point in time. This gradual or immediate damage typically results in limited movement of the spine in addition to chronic pain, which is a condition known as facet joint syndrome.
Areas Affected By Facet Joint Syndrome
This specific condition can occur anywhere along the spine, though it is primarily found in two areas:
- The cervical spine (the neck)
- The thoracic spine (the upper back)
Symptoms will vary slightly depending on the particular location of the individual’s joint damage. If the condition is present in their cervical spine, a person will typically notice pain stemming from the base of the skull and neck, whereas those with thoracic facet syndrome are more likely to feel pain within the lower sections of the spine, which may even extend as far downward as the hips and groin.
Pain caused by facet joint syndrome will usually worsen over time, and can interfere with a variety of daily activities and simple motions. Individuals with this condition are also likely to experience spasms of the paraspinal muscles, which run along each side of the spine.
Diagnosing Facet Syndrome in Carrollton, GA
Due to the vague nature of generalized back pain as a symptom, it can be difficult to accurately diagnose facet joint syndrome without the help of someone who specializes in this sort of spinal condition, such as the experts at Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic.
When you schedule an appointment at Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic, our providers will begin the diagnostic process by asking many questions about your medical history and family history in order to determine if any prior conditions or genetics may play a role in your current symptoms. Once this process is complete, your specialist will order a diagnostic imaging test such as an MRI or X-ray. The results of these examinations will be able to confirm or deny a case of facet joint syndrome.
Facet Syndrome Treatment Options
Patients with mild cases of facet joint syndrome can often find significant relief from regularly performing a variety of physical therapy exercises. This nonsurgical method is often combined with the administration of anti-inflammatory medications (topically or orally) to help reduce any swelling and irritation of the tissues surrounding the spine.
If these types of noninvasive treatments do not prove effective for the patient, or if the spine has already suffered severe damage as a result of facet joint syndrome, then a procedure called radiofrequency ablation is typically the next step taken in order to find relief for the patient. During this procedure, your specialist will use a specialized device to heat the nearby nerves and tissues to the point where their pain receptors have dulled enough to reduce the patient’s daily discomforts.
For more information about facet joint syndrome, or to begin discussing your ideal treatment options with an expert in this unique medical field, please call (770) 834-0873 today to schedule an appointment at Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic.