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Facet Joint Pain

Neuro Pain Consultants

Pain Management and Anesthesia Physicians located in Bloomfield Township, Clarkston and Sterling Heights, MI

As you move throughout your day, your facet joints are hard at work providing you with the necessary range of motion in your spine, all while keeping it stable. When you experience pain in your facet joints, it can seriously hamper your ability to move freely. At Neuro Pain Consultants, the team of spinal specialists understands what causes facet joint pain and, more importantly, how to remedy it. With four locations in Bloomfield Hills, Clarkston, Macomb Township, Sterling Heights, and West Bloomfield, Michigan, your facet joint pain relief is a call or click away.

Facet Joint Pain Q & A

What are facet joints?

Most of your vertebrae are equipped with two joints on the back sides of the bone, which are called facet joints, also known as zygapophyseal joints. These joints allow your spine to move forward and back, side to side, and rotationally. While providing this range of motion is important, it’s only one half of their job. Your facet joints are also charged with keeping your spine together, preventing it from over-rotating or falling over.

What causes facet joint pain?

The primary cause of facet joint pain is osteoarthritis, which wears away the cartilage and synovial fluid inside these joints, preventing them from functioning smoothly. With the loss of lubrication and protection, bone spurs may develop that further aggravate the condition.

Because of the inflammation that’s caused by facet joint arthritis, the muscles surrounding your spine may also start to spasm as they work to protect the area.

Facet joint arthritis is a degenerative disease that doesn’t get better on its own. The key to dealing with facet joint arthritis is early intervention at Neuro Pain Consultants to prevent irreversible damage within these joints.

What are the symptoms of facet joint arthritis?

The most common symptoms of facet joint arthritis are:

  • Episodic pain
  • Local tenderness over the joint
  • Intensified pain or stiffness when you lean backward
  • Radiating pain down your buttocks and upper legs, or over your shoulders and back

Your pain may come and go and occur several times a month or only a few times a year.

How is facet joint pain treated?

The first order of business is diagnosing your facet joint pain, which can mimic other conditions, like a herniated disc. To do this, your doctor at Neuro Pain Consultants injects a combination of X-ray contrast material, local anesthesia, and corticosteroid into your joint. If this injection brings you relief, it’s likely that facet joint arthritis is at play.

Armed with the diagnosis, your doctor at Neuro Pain Consultants comes up with a treatment plan to help you find relief. This plan may include:

  • Pain medication
  • Braces
  • Physical therapy and exercise
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Regenerative medicine, such as stem cell or PRP therapy

If your pain persists, your doctor may discuss surgical options with you.

To find relief from facet joint pain, call Neuro Pain Consultants or use the online scheduler.


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