Spinal Facet Syndrome
Spinal facet syndrome is the result of your facet joints (the small joints located between each vertebra) becoming inflamed and causing pain.
Facet joints provide the spine with stability and flexibility for walking, running, sitting, etc. To allow the joint surfaces to glide easily over each other, the surfaces are lined with cartilage, which gradually wears away as we age, or through overuse in younger years. In some cases creating growths called “bone spurs” .
Friction leads to the tenderness, swelling, stiffness, and pain of arthritis. While inflammation is usually temporary, a failure to treat the condition may cause long lasting or permanent disability.
Sudden trauma, arthritis, gout and excess weight are further risk factors for Spinal Facet Syndrome.
Information comes courtesy of TreatingPain.com.
Facet Nerve Block
A facet nerve block entails administering anti-inflammatory injections into the facet joints of a patient to relieve swelling and promote body movement as a therapeutic treatment, or to identify a source of pain as a diagnostic treatment. The procedures is performed using x-ray guidance down to the nerves that innovate the affected facet joint(s). Facet joints are located between vertebrae in the spine, allowing them to move against each other for an effective range of motion. Patients experiencing chronic neck and back pain, from conditions such as arthritis and whiplash, are leading candidates for facet nerve block treatment. Patients may be given a pain diary to determine whether nerve blocks applied to a certain area have helped to relieve a patient’s pain over the three days following treatment. If the blocks provide relief for a few hours only, the patient may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation of the nerves to the facet joint. This procedure would typically provide 12 months of relief, if successful.
Lumbar and cervical rhizotomy (radiofrequency ablation) refers to the selective destruction of nerves in the facet joints of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine to alleviate the pain originating from the facet joints. Facet joint nerves are targeted and destroyed using a probe that emits heat via radio frequency waves. The nerves slowly regenerate over a time frame of between five months and one year, providing long term pain relief until the nerve has fully recovered and the procedure is repeated if necessary.
Chronic Pain Management
Chronic pain refers to any pain lasting in excess of six months. There is no clear cause, as the term applies to any long-term discomfort arising from an initial injury. Chronic pain can occur in virtually any part of the human body and often contributes to other residual health problems including fatigue, decreased appetite, mood swings, and a lack of mobility. These difficulties negatively affect a person’s ability to lead a comfortable lifestyle. Many advances in modern medicine are helping people to manage their chronic pain more effectively to reduce suffering and enhance a patient’s quality of life and functionality. We will fully evaluate your condition and design a holistic, individually tailored plan to help you return to your life.