What are Facet Joints?
A person’s spine is a marvelous construction that is quite unlike any other in the body. True, it has less flexibility in a given direction than others, but it makes up for it by being subject to other considerations that don’t apply to the rest of the body’s joints. The rotation, movement in all directions (and not just one), as well as the fact that all the vertebrae must cooperate at the same time to carry out a movement, all make it totally unique.
This flexibility is achieved party due to certain juxtapositions of vertebrae called Zygapophysial joints or Facet Joints. These joints are behind the spinal cord (towards the back that is), and there are a pair of them on each vertebrae junction – linking up to the ones above or below it. The provide approximately 20% of the mechanism for spinal movement.
Ailments relating to Facet Joints
Due to their complexity, Facet joints are subject to various issues that can cause excruciating pain. This pain is usually restricted to the cervical region or the lower back area. Such pain in the neck means that a person will have great difficulty rotating his or her head – necessitating the entire body to turn instead. When the pain is in the lower back, it causes significant mobility issues and stiffness. Even worse, such pain can be referred down to a person’s buttocks or thighs, thereby compounding the problem.
Facet joints can be distorted either due to a condition such as osteoarthritis, or it could be caused by an injury. One of the ways to diagnose a Facet joint problem is to administer a local anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory injection to the joint and observe whether or not the pain reduces immediately.
Treatment by Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression is one procedure that is very successful in alleviating the pain caused by Facet joint syndrome. By increasing the space between the vertebrae, it allows the facet joints to get some relief from the pressure and increases the blood flow to them, enabling them to heal effectively. However, the patient must also undertake physical therapy along with spinal decompression. A professional chiropractor will suggest posture improvement techniques as well as a comprehensive program that will get you back on your feet without surgery or side effects.