Treatment for Lumbar Facet Dysfunction

What is Lumbar Facet Dysfunction?

Causes of lumbar facet dysfunction

As we get older, cartilages in our joints tend to wear down, and can wear out completely. Changes such as these, and other factors that affect the posterior facet joints such as consistent poor posture, repetitive movement and injury, can result in lower back pain, lumbar facet dysfunction and osteoarthritis.

Diagnosing lumbar facet dysfunction

Facet syndrome can be very similar to most spinal conditions. Therefore, a comprehensive examination is needed to determine if you have lumbar facet syndrome or another spinal condition.

Diagnosing facet pain typically begins with a complete medical history and physical examination. Your doctor will consider all the information gained from your examination, including any history of spinal injury.

Your doctor may also recommend imagining studies such as CT, X-rays or an MRI. This would reveal any abnormalities in your spine and show more details about the surface of your facet joints. Depending on the result of these scans, a bone scan may be recommended to determine if your facet joints are inflamed.

Treating lumbar facet joint pain

While it is true that osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, there is evidence that careful management and lifestyle changes can help manage the condition and lead to an improved quality of life.

Other methods for treating lumbar facet syndrome include:

  • Medications: For some patients, oral anti-inflammatory drugs or topical patches, salves and creams can help provide relief.
  • Spinal injection: Cortisol can be injected into the facet joint to provide temporary relief for weeks or even months. This injection helps calm joint and muscle pains, irritation and inflammation.
  • Surgical treatment: If lifestyle changes, pain management procedures, physical therapy and the above options fail to provide the needed solution, your doctor may recommend surgery. This type of surgery is called an arthrodesis and involves the fusing of the joints of the two vertebrae together.

Getting help

Lumbar facet dysfunction affects approximately 5%–15% of people with lower back pain (LBP), with the risk of developing the syndrome increasing as the patient gets older and becomes more prone to arthritis.

This condition can cause severe pain in your lower back that can significantly affect your every life if left untreated. However, with physiotherapy and osteopathy, you will be able to get back to your daily routine. If you are suffering from facet joint syndrome, contact us today on XXXXXXXXX to get the help you need for your spinal condition.

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