Aside from the upper cervical spine (C1,C2 ) all other cervical vertebral levels consist of three joints. There is one joint consisting of the intervertebral discs which connect the bodies of the vertebra. There are also two posterior and lateral joints with one on each side called facet joints. The facet joints provide support, stability and facilitate motion of the cervical spine.
Facet joints are synovial joints, which have a smooth shiny contact surfaces called the articular cartilage. The articular cartilage allows the bones to slide freely over each other with reduced friction and stress. Each joint is also surrounded by a protective sleeve called a capsule, and is lubricated by synovial fluid. The facet joints can become irritated and inflamed producing pain and dysfunction.
Common conditions of the facet joints include spondylosis, osteoarthritis of the spine, facet joint inflammation, degenerative joint disease of the spine and facet arthropathy.
I went with my brother to see Dr. Freeman as he was getting a shoulder injection. Everyone in the office was very professional and organized. The dr was very compassionate and took his time. I’m just waiting for my insurance to change to make an appointment and start treatment for my back.
When a facet joint is irritated, the symptoms will depend on the location of the facet joint and what soft tissue structures are affected. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and may mimic the symptoms of a disc problem. Other common symptoms include:
Treatment of a facet joint irritation or injury will depend on the severity of the condition. Treatment recommendations for cervical facet joint injury include:
In mild cases patients found that rest, ice and medication were enough to reduce the pain. Physical therapy is recommended to develop a series of stretching and strengthening exercises to prevent re-occurrence of the injury. Return to activity should be gradual to prevent a flare up of symptoms.
If the problem persists, consult with your health care provider. Your physician should perform a thorough evaluation to determine the possible cause of your symptoms, the structures involved, the severity of the condition, and the best course of treatment.
In addition to performing a thorough examination your physician may order the following tests to make a more concise diagnosis:
Your physician may recommend several medication options individually or in combination to reduce the pain, inflammation and muscle spasms that may be associated with facet joint injuries.
In the case of conditions that do not respond to conservative care surgery may be indicated. If you continue to experience some of the following symptoms surgery may be necessary:
Injections like facet injections, nerve blocks or an epidural. These may involve the injection of corticosteroids to a specific structure to reduce local inflammation.
Surgical Procedures to reduce the affects of degeneration on pain producing structures of the spine.
This office is very organized an clean I would recommend Phillip to anyone I know an I have. Keep up the good work!!!
Dr. Eric D. Freeman is a top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New Jersey and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets. Dr. Eric D. Freeman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New Jersey” and one of “America’s Top Physicians” for advanced sports injury treatments.
Dr. Eric D. Freeman is a top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New Jersey and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.
Dr. Eric D. Freeman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New Jersey” and one of “America’s Top Physicians” for advanced sports injury treatments.
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