June 27

When Your Lower Back “Locks Up” – Chiropractic Care and Facet Syndrome

Facet syndrome, also known as facet joint syndrome, is a common condition that causes back pain. It originates from the facet joints, which are small stabilizing joints located between and behind adjacent vertebrae. These joints, covered by a cartilage layer and lubricated by synovial fluid, facilitate smooth motion and prevent excessive movement of the spine. However, when these joints become inflamed, injured, or degenerate due to age or repetitive stress, they can cause significant pain and discomfort.

Symptoms and Causes of Facet Syndrome

The symptoms of facet syndrome can vary but often include localized pain in the back or neck, which may radiate to the shoulders, arms, buttocks, or thighs. The pain is typically exacerbated by twisting or bending movements and prolonged periods of inactivity or standing. Stiffness, especially in the morning or after resting, and a feeling of instability in the affected area are also common.

Several factors can contribute to the development of facet syndrome:

  1. Age-related Degeneration: As we age, the cartilage in the facet joints wears down, leading to arthritis and inflammation.
  2. Injury: Trauma from accidents or sports injuries can damage the facet joints.
  3. Repetitive Stress: Activities that involve repetitive bending or twisting motions can strain the facet joints.
  4. Poor Posture: Prolonged poor posture can place undue stress on the facet joints.
  5. Obesity: Excess weight increases the load on the spine, accelerating joint wear and tear.

Diagnosis of Facet Syndrome

Diagnosing facet syndrome involves a combination of patient history, physical examination, and imaging studies. A chiropractor will assess the patient’s pain patterns, range of motion, and posture. Imaging techniques such as X-rays, can help visualize the extent of joint degeneration or inflammation. At Apex Chiropractic, we always perform a detailed history and examination, and take any necessary x-rays before beginning with treatment.

Chiropractic Care for Facet Syndrome

Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive, drug-free approach to managing facet syndrome. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal disorders, including facet joint issues, through various techniques aimed at restoring joint function, reducing pain, and improving overall spinal health.

Spinal Adjustments

Spinal adjustments, also known as spinal manipulations, are the cornerstone of chiropractic care. These adjustments involve applying controlled force to the spine to improve its alignment and mobility. For facet syndrome, chiropractors focus on adjusting the affected facet joints to relieve pressure, reduce inflammation, and restore normal joint motion. These adjustments can alleviate pain and enhance the body’s natural healing processes. At Apex Chiropractic, we offer a wide range of adjusting techniques in order to best adjust the patient for their specific condition.

Therapeutic Exercises

Chiropractors often prescribe specific therapeutic exercises tailored to the patient’s condition. These exercises aim to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, enhance flexibility, and improve posture. Strengthening the core muscles can help stabilize the spine and reduce the strain on facet joints, while flexibility exercises can prevent stiffness and improve overall spinal function. At Apex Chiropractic, we provide specific stretches and exercises to each patient that are designed for their individual needs.

Postural and Ergonomic Advice

Poor posture and improper ergonomics can exacerbate facet syndrome. Chiropractors provide guidance on maintaining proper posture during daily activities and recommend ergonomic adjustments to the workplace or home environment. Simple changes, such as using an ergonomic chair, adjusting computer screens to eye level, and taking regular breaks to stretch, can significantly reduce the strain on the facet joints.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Facet Syndrome

Chiropractic care offers several benefits for individuals suffering from facet syndrome:

  1. Pain Relief: Spinal adjustments and manual therapies can provide immediate relief from pain by reducing joint inflammation and improving mobility.
  2. Non-invasive Treatment: Chiropractic care is a non-surgical and drug-free approach, minimizing the risk of side effects associated with medications and invasive procedures.
  3. Personalized Care: Chiropractors develop individualized treatment plans based on the patient’s specific condition and needs, ensuring optimal results.
  4. Improved Function: Restoring proper joint function and alignment enhances overall spinal health, reducing the risk of future injuries and improving quality of life.
  5. Complementary Care: Chiropractic care can be integrated with other treatments, such as physical therapy or medical interventions, to provide comprehensive pain management and rehabilitation.

Facet syndrome can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, causing chronic pain and limiting mobility. Chiropractic care offers a holistic and effective approach to managing this condition by addressing the root cause of pain and promoting natural healing. Through spinal adjustments, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercises, chiropractors can help patients alleviate pain, improve joint function, and enhance their overall well-being. Are you tired of dealing with lower back pain? You can call our office at 281-752-7388 or schedule your first visit online to start you road to recovery.


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